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1 817 

■p^ ^ .^rrS"TiA VERITAS 


* t 

• A 

I J 


May td 







' * TA€ Origin and Development of Religious Belie/,** "Post Medicpval 
Pre ackers,^* «« Curious Myths of the Middle Ages,** 6»r., b'c. 




46,£bEDFORD street, strand, LONDON. 


Mortti Compot 


8 2. 


lAi/ rights reserved,'] 





B. AlauTiy Mk, 263 

S. Aldhelm, B. of 

Sherborne 346 

„ Alexander /, Pope 54 
„ Amatory B, of 

Aiixerre 11 

„ Angela of Mericl 430 
The Apparition of S. 

Michael, 115 

S, Asaphy B. 16 

„ Athanasius the 

Greaty B,D. ... 29 
„ Augustine^ Abp, of 

Canterbury ... 384 
„ Aviay V,M, 94 


S. Basilla, KM. ... 306 

„ BeattiSy H. 136 

„ Bedethe Venerabley 

Mk.y D, 398 

„ Benedict //, Pope 108 
„ Bernardine of 

Sienay O.M, ... 309 


S, Bonifacey M. 191 

„ Boniface I V,y Pope 345 
„ Brendany Ab. of 

Clmfert 217 

yy Briochy B. 20 

„ Britwin, Ab. of 

Beverley 213 


S. Ccesareay V. 211 

„ Calepodiusy P.M. 139 
SS> CantiuSy Cantia- 

nuSy and Can- 

tianilla, MM. 428 
S. Carantogy Ab. ... 215 
„ CaraunuSy M. ... 408 
„ Carnechy Ab.y B. 214 
„ Carthaghy B. of 

Lismore 196 

„ Comgally Ab 141 

SS. Conon and his 

Sony MM. ... 417 
S. Const ant inty Emp. 314 




S, Desiderius, B,M. 

of Langres ... 334 
„ Desiderius^ B.M» 

of Vienne 335 

„ Dionysia^ V,M,,., 205 
„ Dofiiitian^ B. of 

Maestricht ... 108 
„ Dunstaity Abp, of 

Canterbury ... 276 
„ Dytnphna^ KM, 207 

S. Eadbert^ B, of 

Lindisfarne ... 96 
„ Elfgyva, Q. ...... 254 

B, Elizabeth of Hun- 
gary, V. 100 

£ Epiphanius^ B, of 

Salamis 164 

„ Ericky K,M, 256 

„ Ethelberty K,M.... 308 
„ Evermar, Ab. ... 24 
„ Evodzus, B, of 

Antioch 93 

F. . 

S. FeliXy B, of Spalato 253 
„ Felix of Cantalice, 

0*M, 258 

„ Ferdinand III, K, 421 

„ FidoiuSy Ab, 216 

„ Flavia Domitilla^ 

V,M, 106, 158 

„ Francis of Giro- 

iamoy S,J^, ... 156 
„ Fremund, K,M, 154 
„ Frederick^ B, 405 


S, Gengulf M, ...... 151 

„ Gereberny P,M, ... 207 

j, Germain, B, of 

Paris 412 

„ GermanuSf Patr, 
of Constanti- 
nople 174 

„ Gibrian, P,C. ... 114 
B, Gizur, B, of Skal- 

holt 413 

S, Glyceria, V.M, ... 181 

„ Godricky H, '322 

SS, Gordian <5r- Epi- 

machuSy MM, 141 

S, Gothard, B, ofHii- 

desheim 73 

„ Gregory Nazian- 

zen, B.D, 125 

„ Gregory VILy Pope 351 


S, Hallvardy M, ... 202 

„ HeliconiSy M. 407 

„ Hernias, B, 124 

„ HermiaSy M, 428 

SS* Hesperus and Zoe, 

MM, 28 

S, Hilary, B, of Aries 75 


S, Iduberga, Matr, 116 
SS, Injuriosus and 

Scholastica ... 344 
The Invention of the 

Cross 56 

S, Isberga, V,,,^ 320 

„ Isidora, K. ........ 10 





S. Isidore^ C 146 

S, MaximuSf B, of 

,, Itta. Matr, 116 

yerusalem ... 

^ . 

V y ^^ ^ ^ ^rw^ « ^mw^^ ^^^^ w VVvpVVV ••• ^k ^L ^M 


SS. Maximus and 







iS". yames the Less, 

S. MochtidOy B, of 

Ap.,M. s 

Lismore. ...,,,., 


„ yohn L.Pope ... 395 

., Mojiica. Wl 

„ ^<?/^« ^ BcverUyy 

M M ^^ M ^ * ^ V V V w w 9 

Abp, 109 

„ yohn DamascenCy 


Mk,. C. 96 

SS. Nereiis and Achil- 

„ yohnof Nepotnuky 

les, MM. 


P,M, 227 


^* w^r^ V •■« ••• VV* ••• <■• A* # 

„ yohnthsSilentiaryy 

Mk 185 . 

S. Oriens, B.H. 


„ yudasy B. 64 

„ Julia, F.M. 332 


„ yu/ius, M. 394 

S. Pachomius, Ab. . :. 



„ Pancras 


„ Paschal Baylon, C. 


S. Kellach, B. of Kit- 

„ Paschal L, Pope... 


lala 21 

SS. Pasicrates and Va- 

lentiOy MM. ... 



S.Pdagia, V.M. ... 


UKC • 

„ Peter Celestine, 

S. Madeniy H, 239 



„ MajoluSy Ab, 154 

„ Peter, B. of Tar- 

„ Mamertiusy B, of 



Vienne 150 

SS. Peter, Andrew, 

„ Marculf Ab. 15 

and Paul, MM. 


B, Marianna of 

S.PetronUla, V. 


yesus, V, 292 

„ Philip of Agyra, 

SS. Martyrs of Alex- 



andria 181 

„ Philip, Ap., M..,. 


„ Martyrs of Nismes 312 

„ Philip Neri, C. ... 


S, Mary Magdalen of 

„ Pius V,, Pope ... 


Fazziy V. 381 

„ Pontius, M. 


„ Maurontiusy Ab,,. 78 

1, Pudentiana, V.M. 







S, Quadratus^ B, ... 383 

, , Quiriacus^ B, 64 

„ Quiteria, VM, ... 333 


S. Restituta, KM.,,. 238 
„ RictrudiSjWnAbss. 170 
„ Rolenda^ K 187 


SS, Secundus and 

Comf,, MM,., 319 
S, Scrvatus, B. of 

Tongres 183 

„ Sigismund^K,H,,, 17 
„ Simon Stocky C... 226 
SS. SisinniuSt Marty- 
rius, and Aiex- 
andcTy MM. ... 418 
S, Solangia^ KM. ... 145 
„ Stanislaus^ B.M.^ 

of Cracow no 

„ Syivanusy B.M.y 

of Gaza (i^ 


S. JhaiielcBUSy M,.., 307 
„ Iheodard, Abp, of 

Narbonne 25 

p.. OB 

S. Theodoiusy M. ... 245 
„ Theodulus the Sty- 

iitey If, 409 

SS. Timothy and 

Maura^MM... 55 

S. Torpes 237 

SS, TorquatuSf Ctesi- 
plion^ andotherSy 
B.B. .,, 204 


S. Ubald, B. of Giib- 

bio 22^ 

„ Urban I.yJ^opCyM. 341 


S. Kenantius, M. ... 244 
„ Kincent of Lerins, 

Mk. 337 


S, William of Roclies- 

ter, M. ,336 

5. Wiro.B 116 

S. YvOy P,C, 301 

Lives of the Saints. 




Jbremiah, Prophet, slain in Egypt, 

S. Philip, jfp, Af. at HierapoUs, in Phrygia, xst cent. 

S. James the Less, jip., B.M. of Jerusalem, ist cent. 

S. Andeolus, M. in the Fivarais, in France, a.d. 207. 

SS. AcHius AND AcHEOLUS, MM, at Amiens, 

S. IsiDORA, F. at fabenna, in Egypt, 

S. Amator, B. of Auxerre, a.d. 4x8. 

S. Oriens, B.ofAuch, in France, a.d. 43). 

S. Africanus, B,(f Camming es, 6th cent. 

S. Marculf, Ab. at Coutances, in Normandy, circ. a.d. $^8. 

S. SioiSMUND, K.H. at S. Maurice, in the Falais, a.d. ^24. 

S. Asaph, B. of Wales, beginning of>jth cent, 

S. Brioch, B. in Brittany, 6th or >jth cent. 

S. Theodulus, Ab, ofS, merxy, at Rheims, end of 6th cent. 

S. Kellac, B. in Ireland, >jth cent. 

S. AsEGins, B. of Gap, circ, a.d. 6zo. 

S. Bertha, Abss, V.M. at Avenay, in the diocese of Chalons-sur Marne, 

*jth cent, 
S. Ultan, Ab, of Fosses, near Peronne, circ. a.d. 680. 
S. Evermar, M. at fongres, in Belgium^ circ. a.d. 700. 
S. Theodaro, Archb, of Narbonne, circ. a.d. 893. 
S. Vivald, H, at Montajone, in Tuscany, circ. a.d. 1310. 

(ist cent.) 

[Roman Martyrology. That attributed to S. Jerome, Bede, Hrabanus, 
Usuardus, Ado, Notker. Ancient and Reformed Anglican Kalendars. 
By the Greeks on Nov. Z4th, also by Copts. The Acts are apocryphal, 
but may, and probably do contain some foundation of truth. The testi- 
mony of Papias and Polycrates, quoted by Eusebius, may, however, be 
relied on ; Papias had spoken with the daughters of S. Philip.] 

[AINT PHILIP was bom at Bethsaida, a town 
near the Sea of Tiberias, the city of SS. Andrew 
and Peter. Of his parents and way of life 
the Gospel history takes no notice, though 
probably he was a fisherman — the ordinary trade of that 

VOL. V. I 

2 Lives of the Saints. [May i. 

place. He had the honour of being first called to the 
discipleship, which thus came to pass : — Our Lord soon 
after His return from the wilderness, having met with 
S. Andrew and his brother S. Peter, after some short dis- 
course parted from them ; and the very next day, as He 
was passing through Galilee, He found S. Philip, whom He 
presently commanded to follow Him ; so that He had the 
prerogative of being the first of our Lord's disciples. For 
though SS. Andrew and Peter were the first that came to 
and conversed with Christ, yet they immediately returned 
to their trade again, and were not called to the discipleship 
till above a whole year after, when S. John the Baptist was 
cast into prison. 

S. Clement of Alexandria reports, as a well-known fact; 
that S. Philip was the one who asked Christ to be allowed 
to first go aiid bury his father, before he followed Him, and 
received from Christ the answer, " Let the dead bury their 
dead." (Matt viii. 22.) 

It is related that, in the distribution of the several regions 
of the world made by the Apostles, Upper Asia was 
allotted to S. Philip as his province, where he applied him- 
self with indefatigable diligence and industry to recover 
men out of the snare of the devil, to the embracing and 
acknowledgment of the truth. By the constancy of his 
preaching and the efficacy of his miracles, he gained 
numerous converts, whom he baptized into the Christian 
faith, at once curing both souls and bodies, dispossessing 
demons, settling churches and appointing pastors to them. 
Having for many years successfiilly exercised his apostolical 
office in all those parts, he came at length to Hierapolis, in 
Phrygia, a rich and prosperous city, but a stronghold of 
idolatry. Amongst the many false gods to which adoration 
was there paid was a huge serpent S. Philip was troubled 
3ko see the people so wretchedly enslaved to error, and,* 

Way 1.1 ^. Philip. 3 

therefore, continually besought God, till by prayer and 
calling upon the name of Jesus Christ, he had procured 
the death of the monster. Upon this S. Philip took 
occasion to convince the people of the vainness of their 
superstitions with such success that matiy renounced their 
errors. Enraged at this, the magistrates of the city seized 
the apostle, and having cast him into prison caused him to 
be severely scourged. After this preparatory cruelty he 
was led to execution, and having been bound, he was hung 
up by the neck against a pillar ; though others relate that 
he was crucified. It is further recorded that at his exe- 
cution the earth began suddenly to quake, and the ground 
whereon the people stood to sink under them ; but when 
they perceived this and bewailed it as an evident act of 
Divine vengeance pursuing them for their sins, it as 
suddenly stopped and went no further. The. apostle being 
dead, his body was taken down by S. Bartholomew — ^his 
fellow-sufferer, afterwards executed — and Mariamne, S. 
Philip's sister (who is said to have been the constant 
companion of his travels), and decently buried; after 
which, having confirmed the people in the faith of Christ, 
they departed from them. S. Philip was married, and had 
several daughters. Some of them, says Clement of Alex- 
andria, were married.^ Two lived single, and died at a 
great age, and were buried at Hierapolis, as we learn from 
Polycrates, quoted by Eusebius;^ another was buried at 
Ephesus.'*^ Sozomen says that the daughters of Philip raised 
a dead man to life;* but Papias, whom Eusebius quotes, 
speaks also of this resurrection, which he says he heard 
from their lips, but does not say that they raised the man 
to life.5 

The fact of S. Philip having had daughters has led some 

* Stromata III. « Hist. Eccl. iii. c. 31. » Ibid. * Hist. Ecd.vii. 27. 

^ Hist. Eccl. iii, 39. 

4 Lives of the Saints. [May t. 

writers to confound him with Philip the Deacon, who liveid 
at Csesarea, and of whose four virgin daughters mention is- 
made in the Acts of the Holy Apostles. He was one of 
the aposdes who left no sacred writings behind him, the 
greater part of the apostles, as Eusebius observes, having 
little leisure to write books, through being employed in 
ministries more immediately useful and subservient to the 
happiness of mankind. But S. Epiphanius relates that the 
Gnostics were wont to produce a Gospel forged under S. 
Philip's name, which they abused to the furthering of their 
strange heresies. 

S. Philip appears "young and beardless" in the Greek 
paintings ; in Western art he is generally in the prime of 
life, but with little beard. He usually carries in his hand a 
long staff, surmounted by a cross ; sometimes it is in the 
Tau form, and more rarely a double cross ; he often bears 
a basket with loaves and fishes, in allusion to S. John? 

vi. 5-7. 

The arm of S. Philip was translated in 1204 from Con- 
stantinople to Florence, where it is still shewn. The 
crown of his head is at Troyes, obtained at the same time>. 
other relics are at Toulouse. The body of the saint is. 
preserved in the church of the Apostles Philip and James, 
at Rome, which was dedicated by Pope John III. In 
Cyprus, however, the head is preserved together with 
several bones; one of the bones was removed in 16 16, and 
taken to Naples. But another head was given by John 
III., duke of Berry, son of King John II. of France, to the 
cathedral church of Notre Dame at Paris. Another head 
is shewn in Portugal, at Montemayor, in the church of S^ 
Francis. This was given to Don Fernando Mascarenhas, 
envoy of king Sebastian to the council of Trent, by the Pope.. 

The Emperor Charles IV. obtained many relics of S- 
Philip, which he gave to the churches of Prague, amongst 

May I.] S. yames the Less. 5 

others an arm of the apostle. This arm and another head 
of S. Philip were brought from Rome in 1 3 5 5. But the head, 
and one whole arm, and a portion of another, are shewn in 
the monastery church of Andechs or Heiligen-Berg, near 
the Ammer-See, in Bavaria. In 1148, Pope Eugenius III. 
•consecrated the church of S. Matthias, at Treves, and relics 
of S. Philip were then given to it Gelenius says that relics 
of the same apostle are preserved in ten or more of the 
churches in Cologne. 

The Spanish historians and martyrologists affirm, without 
a shadow of evidence, that the Greeks whom S. Philip 
brought to S. Andrew, and S. Andrew to our Lord (John 
xii. 20), consisted of a party of Spaniards. 


(iST CENT.) 

[Roman Martyrology, Anglican Reformed Kalendar. By Copts on 
Feb. 4th, by Maronites on Oct. 9th. In the Egyptian Kalendars, pub- 
lished by Selden, on the loth and 12th Feb. By the Russian Church on 
Oct. 9tb, and on the same day by the Greeks. By the ancient Roman and 
almost all the old Latin Martyrologies on June 22nd/ He is sometimes 
•called "James the Lord's Brother," and sometimes "James the son of 
Alphaeus." Some think that these were two distinct persons, and that 
•the festivals are for each. S. James the Great was the son of Zebedee, 
and was a third person. Authorities : — Besides mention in the Gospels, 
Hegesippus quoted by Eusebius.] 

The parentage of S. James is so confused that it is 
impossible to decide with anything approaching to certainty 
who was his father, and what was his relationship to our 
Blessed Lord. The term brother, applied to him by the 
Evangelists, is of wide significance, and it may mean that 
he was a son of Joseph by a former wife, or that he was a 
•cousin, the son of Alphseus, who married the sister of the 

6 Lives of tlie Saints. [May^ 

Blessed Virgin Mary. The reader is referred to what has 
abready been said on this topic in the article on Mary the 
wife of Cleopas (April 9th). Of the birthplace of S. James 
the sacred story makes no mention. In the Talmud he is 
more than once styled " a man of the town of Sechania."^ 
No distinct account is given of him during our Saviour's 
ministry until after His Resurrection, when S.- James was 
honoured with a special appearance of our Lord to himj 
which, though silently passed over by the Evangelists, is 
recorded by S. Paul — next to the manifesting Himself to 
the five hundred brethren at once, "He was seen of James/'' 
Of this S. Jerome (September 30th) gives a fuller relation 
out of the Hebrew Gospel of the Nazarenes (see Life of S. 
Matthew, September 21st), viz. : That S. James had 
solemnly sworn that from the time that he had drunk of the 
Cup at the Last Supper, he would eat bread no more till, 
he saw the Lord risen from the dead. Our Lord, there- 
fore, being returned from the grave, came and appeared to 
him, commanded bread to be set before him, which He 
took, blessed, and brake, and gave to S. James, saying,. 
" Eat thy bread, my brother, for the Son of Man is truly 
risen from among them that sleep." After Christ's Ascen- 
sion he was chosen bishop of Jerusalem, preferred before 
all the rest for his near relationship unto Christ ; and this 
was afterwards the reason why Simeon was chosen to be his 
immediate successor in that see, because he was, after S. 
James, our Lord's next kinsman. This consideration 
made S. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, though they 
had been peculiarly honoured by our Saviour, not contend 
for this high and honourable place, but freely choose 
James the Just to be its bishop. It was to S. James that 
S. Paul made his address after his conversion, and was by- 
him honoured with the right hand of fellowship; to him S. 
Peter sent the news of his miraculous deliverance out of 

May I.] S. James tite Less. 7 

prison, "go show these things unto James and to the 
brethren." S. James presided at tke Synod at Jerusalem 
in the great controversy about the Mosaic rites ; and thereat 
passed the final and decretory sentence that the Gentile 
converts were not to be troubled with the bondage of the 
Jewish yoke. He exercised his office with all possible care 
and industry, omitting no part of a diligent and faithful 
guide of souls, strengthening the weak, informing the 
ignorant, reducing the erroneous, reproving the obstinate, 
and by the constancy of his preaching, conquering the 
stubbornness of that perverse and refractory generation 
with which he had to deal, many of the nobler and the 
better sort being brought over from Judaism to the 
Christian Faith: He was so careful, so successful in his 
charge, that it stirred up the malice of enemies to con- 
spire his ruin. Not being able to affect this under the 
government of Festus, they more effectually attempted it 
before the assumption of the procuratorship by his successor, 
Albinus. Ananias the Younger, then high priest, and of the 
sect of the Sadducees, resolved to despatch him before the 
new governor could arrive. To this end a council was hastily 
summoned, and the apostle, with some others, arraigned and 
condemned as violators of the law. But that the thing might 
be carried on in a more plausible way, they set the Scribes 
and Pharisees at work to ensnare him ; and they, coming to 
him, began by flattering insinuations to entrap him. They 
told him that they all had great confidence in him, and 
that the whole nation as well as themselves regarded him as 
a most just man, and one who was no respecter of persons; 
thai, therefore, they desired he would correct the errors 
into which the people had fallen, who regarded Jesus 
as the Messiah, and they desired to take the oppor- 
tunity of the congress to the Paschal solemnity, to have 
them set right in their notions about these things. For 

8 Lives of the Saints. [May i. 

this purpose they undertook to place him on the top of the 
Temple, where he might be seen and heard by all. On the 
day appointed, being advantageously placed upon a pinnacle 
or wing of the Temple, the Scribes thus addressed him : 
"Tell us, O Justus ! whom we have all the reason in the 
world to believe, that seeing the people are thus generally 
led away with the doctrine of Jesus that was crucified, tell 
us what is this institution of the crucified Jesus." To which 
the apostle answered in an audible voice, "Why do ye 
inquire of Jesus, the Son of Man ? He sits in heaven, on 
the right hand of the Majesty on High, and will come again 
in the clouds of heaven." The people below hearing 
this, glorified the blessed Jesus, and shouted, "Hosanna 
to the Son of David !" 

The Scribes and Pharisees perceiving now that they had 
overshot their mark, and that instead of reclaiming, they 
had confirmed the people in their reverence for Christ saw 
that there was no way left but to despatch James at once, . 
in order that by his sad fate others might be warned not to 
believe him. Whereupon, suddenly crying out that Justus 
himself was seduced and become an impostor, they threw 
him down firom the place where he stood. Though bruised, 
he was not killed by the' fall, but recovered sufficient 
strength to get upon his knees and pray for them. A 
Rechabite who stood by, who Epiphanius says was Simeon, 
the apostle's kinsman and successor, then stepped in and 
entreated the Jews to spare him, a just and righteous man, 
and who was then praying for them. But they cast a 
shower of stones upon S. James, till one, more mercifully 
cruel than the rest, beat out his brains with a fuller's club. 
Thus died the holy apostle in the year of grace 62, in the 
ninety-sixth year of his age, and about twenty-four years 
after our Lord's Ascension, taken away, as we are told by 
Josephus, to the great grief and regret of all good men, yea 

Mayx.] S. y antes the Less. 9 


of all sober and just persons, even among the Jews 
themselves. S. Gregory, of Tours, relates that S. James 
was buried upon Mount Olivet in a tomb which he had 
built for himself, and wherein he had buried Zacharias 
and S. Simeon. 

The Catholic Epistle of S. James, his only authentic 
work, was probably written not long before his martyrdom, 
as appears by some passages in it relating to the near ap- 
proaching ruin of the Jewish nation. Besides this Epistle 
there is a Gospel ascribed to him, called the Protevangelium, 
containing the early life of our Lord and of His Mother. 
This book is, however, certainly apocryphal. It can in no 
case have been written before the 2nd century, ^d in its 
actual form it belongs to a later century. It is full of 
blunders and inconsistencies. 

S. James the Less is generally represented with a club of 
peculiar shape, called the fuller's bat, which was the instru- 
•ment of his martyrdom. According to an early tradition 
he so nearly resembled our Lord in person, in features, and 
in deportment, that it was difficult to distinguish them, and 
a touching legend says that this exact resemblance rendered 
necessary the kiss of the traitor Judas in order to point out 
his Victim to the soldiers. 

The body of S. James the Less was taken from Jerusalem, 
where it was buried, and carried to Constantinople. The 
head is now shown at Compostella, in Spain, brought from 
Jerusalem by the Bishop Didacus Gelmirez in the 13th 

But the head is claimed as possessed also by the church 
of S. Marrie de Mare, at Camargo, in Provence. A jaw is 
preserved at Forli, in Italy ; another portion of the head at 
Ancona; an arm at Gembloux, in Belgium. But the relics 
of S. James are said to have been found in 1395 on Monti 
Grigiano, near Verona. The body is preserved in the 

lO Lives of the Saints. [Wayji 


church of SS. Philip and James at Rome, together with 
that of S. Philip, in the high altar, but the arm is separately 
enshrined, and is exhibited there on this day. The head and 
other relics, according to Saussaye, were at Toulouse, and 
at Langres was an arm of S. James. Three portions of the 
skull are in the church of S. Charles, at Antwerp. 

(date uncertain.) 

[Greek Menaea. Authority :— Mention in the Lives of the Fathers of 
the Desert, as related by S. Basil.J 

In a convent of religious women at Tabenna, in Upper 
Eg)rpt, was a sister named Isidora, whom the rest of the 
nuns regarded as half-witted, and they despised her, played 
her tricks, and put all the work upon her. She had only 
an old tattered dish-clout over her head, and no clean veil 
as the rest. And they swept past in solemn order to the 
devotions in the church, and Isidora was left to look to the 
kitchen and sweep the floors. And sometimes the sisters 
slapped her face, and if they found her asleep for weariness, 
they put mustard into her nostrils, or they threw the 
scrapings of their plates over her. But all she bore without 
a murmur, and went on as the kitchen drudge as con- 
tentedly as if she had found her true vocation. 

Now one day the aged hermit Pyoterius, who dwelt 
among the rocks on the bank of the Nile, saw an angel of 
God, who said to him, " Go to a certain convent at Tabenna 
and there shalt thou find an elect vessel full of the grace of 
God, and thou shalt know her by the crown that shines 
above her head.*' So Pyoterius went forth and tarried not 
till he came to the convent, and related his vision and bade 
tiie abbess bring all the sisters before him. And they 

May 2.1 S. Amator. it 

passed in order, and as each went by he said, " The Lord 
hath not chosen thee." Then he said, " Are there yet any 
more?" The superior answered, " All are here save only 
a half-witted creature who is kitchen-slut" " Bring her to 
me," said the hermit And when Isidora came in, her gar- 
ments stained and dirty, with the old clout on her head, he 
saw the clout encircled with a thread of light, and he fell at 
her feet and prayed her to bless him. Then she bowed to 
him humbly and besought him to bless her. '^ And is this 
she whom the Lord hath chosen 1" exclaimed the sisters. 
Then one said, " I slapped her on the face onl)^ yesterday." 
And another said, "I put mustard up her nose." And 
another said, " And I threw the scraps of my dinner at her 
head." And now all honoured her as a saint But the 
poor cinder-slut, ashamed of the veneration she had ac- 
quired, fled away. And here the story ends. All we know 
further is that the Mensea adds, that she flew to heaven at 
length as a bee to its hive, laden with the honey of good 

(ad. 418.) 

[All Latin Martyrologies, Roman included. The life of S. Amator was 
written by Stephen, an African priest, at the request of S. Aunarius, Bishop 
of Auxerre, A.D. 580.] 

Amator was the only son of wealthy and noble parents at 
Auxerre, brought up in all the accomplishments suited to 
his birth and future prospects. When he reached manhood 
he was espoused to a beautiful girl of good family, named 
Martha. On the wedding day the old bishop of Auxerre, 
S. Valerian, was invited to give the nuptial benediction^ in 

1 Invitatur de more reiigiosornm, ad introitum thalami, illico Valeriana* 

12 Lives of the Saints. tMayi. 

the house. The historian describes at length the splendour 
of the adornments of the chamber and of the bride. The 
aged bishop, now nearly in his second childhood, took his 
book of prayers, and mumbled the office for the ordination 
of a clerk, by mistake, and the assistants were none the 
wiser, except Amator, who was paying close attention to 
the words of the childish and toothless old man. Then 
when all had withdrawn, he said to his girlish bride, as he 
took her hands in his, " Knowest thou what the bishop 
read from his book?" "Yes," she answered, "he blessed 
our union." "No, my dear one," said the young man, 
" he consecrated us to the Lord. And now, though he did 
it unwittingly, he did it not without God's will, and it may 
be His purpose that we should serve Him in the highest 
and holiest* state." So she cast herself into his arms and 
■said, **What thou wiliest, I will too." Then they knelt 
together and offered themselves of their own free-will to 
serve God. And there came a sweet perfume into the 
room, as from roses. Then said Martha, " Whence comes 
this fragrance, my brother?" And he answered, "It is the 
odour of Paradise, where they neither marry nor are given 
in marriage, but are as the angels of God." So they went 
to rest, and the lamp died out in the socket, and as it 
l^ecame dark, Amator saw the luminous form of an angel 
growing out of the darkness, holding two lily crowns, which 
he laid on the heads of the virgin pair. 

Now during the marriage festivities, which were pro- 
tracted several days, the old bishop Valerian died, and in 
his place was chosen S. Helladius. And when the feasting 
was at an end, the young couple went to the new bishop, 
^and disclosed to him what was their design, and when he 
heard them, he was filled with wonder, and he blessed them 
both, and Amator he consecrated deacon, and then priest, 
•and to Martha he gave the veil, and she became a nun. 

May 1.3 S. A7nator. 15 

After a few years S. Helladius was gathered to his prede- 
cessors in the see, and Amator was chosen by the unani- 
mous voice of the clergy and people to fill his vacant chair. 

The chief man of Auxerre was a certain Germanus, a 
man of noble qualities, but not attending much to his- 
religious duties. He was passionately fond of hunting, and. 
he was wont to hang up the heads of the wild boars and 
stags he killed to the branches of a large pear tree that 
grew in the middle of the town. This was an old heathen 
custom, and was, in fact, an oblation to Woden; and as 
such, it gave the bishop great offence. He complained to 
Giermanus, but the sportsman paid no attention to his 
remonstrances. Then Amator one day, whilst Germanus 
was abroad hunting, cut down the tree, and threw all the 
antlers and boar's heads away outside the town. Germanus. 
was greatly incensed, and vowed vengeance against the 
bishop, who to escape his wrath, fled the town, and made 
the best of his way to Autun, to count Julius, governor of 
the province. He now adopted one of those extraordinary 
expedients to escape from the difficulty in which he had 
involved himself, which can only be paliated by the 
customs of the time in which Amator lived. He had, no 
doubt, formed an high opinion of Germanus, and had 
conceived an affection for the frank, rough noble. His 
wealth and position would signally aid the Church at 
Auxerre if he could be enlisted among the clergy; and the 
zeal wherewith he had pursued game, might be diverted to 
enthusiasm in the pursuit of souls. So thought Amator, 
we may presume, when he abruptly demanded of the 
governor his sanction to the nomination and consecration 
of Germanus to the episcopal throne of Auxerre in the 
room of himself. " For," said S. Amator, " God has re- 
vealed to me that my life draweth to a close." The 
astonished governor gave his consent, and Amator at once 

14 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi. 

returned to Auxerre, where Germanus was still storming at 
the destruction of his trophy, and vowing vengeance. 
Amator at once went to the church, and a crowd of people 
rushed afte^ him, amongst them Germanus. " Let everyone 
divest himself of his weapons, and lay spear and sword 
outside the doors," said the bishop ; and he was obeyed. . 
Then at a signal, the gates were closed. Instantly Amator '' 
rushed upon Germanus, caught him by the arm, and 
assisted by some of his clergy, dragged him to the altar 
steps, and then and there ordained him. Then, when 
silence was made, Amator called on the people to elect 
Germanus to be their bishop, as he who spake to them was 
about to die. And so it was, Amator died a few days 
after, and Germanus, chosen by the clergy and the people, 
was consecrated bishop, and ruled the see welL 


(A.D. 439.) 

[Roman and Gallican Martyrologies, Authorities : — Two lives of uu- 
•certain date.] 

S. Oriens, Orientius, or Orens, was born at Huescar, 
in the marches of Aragon. He sold his property, gave the 
price to the poor, and retired as a hermit to the valley of 
Lavedan. He became Bishop of Auch, about a.d. 419, and 
was sent as ambassador from Theodoric the Ostrogoth to 
sue for peace to the Roman general Aetius, in which he 
was successful. He is author of a religious poem called 
'**Commonitorium" still extant, and died in a.d. 439, after 
having laboured diligently to root out the relics of paganism 
in his diocese. 

Mayij S. Marculf. 15 


(about A.D. 558.) 

[GaJlican Martyrology, Usuardus. Authorities :— Two ancient lives. 
Three festivals are observed in his honour in the diocese of Coutances, 
May ist, July 7th, Oct nth,] 

S. Marculf was bom at Bayeux, and was of Frank 
parentage, as his name shows (Forest-wolf.) He preached 
in the diocese of Coutances, and obtained from king 
Childebert a grant of land at Nanteuil, on the coast, for a 
monastery. He spent every Lent in an islet off the coast 
Taking with him a companion, E.omardus, he visited 
Jersey, where he found a hermit named Helier, occupying 
a cave in the rock, now crowned by Elizabeth Castle. 
Whilst he was in Jersey a pirate fleet of Saxons appeared 
off the island. The natives implored the prayers of S. 
Marculf. A storm rose, when a large body of the pirates 
was advancing over the sand flats, swept some of their 
ships upon the Violets, a reef of sunken rocks, carried 
others out to sea, and the rising tide rushing over the sands, 
assisted the islanders in disposing of their invaders. 

S. Marculf returned to Nanteuil, and made a second 
visit to the king. On this occasion he lay down to rest 
near Compiegne. A hare that was being pursued by 
hunters took refuge in his hood. Marculf awoke to find 
himself surrounded by yelping hounds. He protected the 
hare from them in spite of the threats of the hunters. 

The relics of the saint are preserved at Corbeny, in the 
diocese of Laon; and it was the custom of the French 
kings after their coronation at Rheims, to make a pilgrim- 
age to Corbeny, and there after touching the relics of 
S. Marculf, heal those sick with king's evil. The relics 
were saved at the Revolution, and are now restored to 
their place in the church of Corbeny. When Charles X. 

1 6 Lives of the Saints. [Mayt, 

was crowned, in 1825, the relics were brought to the 
hospital of S. Marcoul, at Rheims, and the king there 
touched several scrofulous persons. 

. S. Marculf is represented touching the chin of a sick 
person, to represent him as the patron invoked against 
king's evil 

(6th cent.) 

[Roman Martyrology, Aberdeen Breviary. Authority: — Mention iii» 
the life of S. Kentigern.] 

S. Kentigern having been expelled his see in 
Scotland, founded a monastery at Llan-Elwy, in North 
Wales. " There were assembled in this monastery," says 
John of Tynemouth, "no fewer than 995 brethren, who all 
lived under monastic discipline, serving God in great 
continence. Of which number, 300, who were illiterate, 
he appointed to till the ground, to take care of the cattle, 
and do other works outside the sanctuary. Other 300 he 
appointed to prepare the food, and perform other necessary 
works within the monastery, and 365 who were learned, he 
deputed to say the daily offices. Of th^se he would not 
suffer any, without great necessity, to leave the monas- 
tery j but appointed them to attend there continually, as in 
God's sanctuary. Now this part of the community he 
divided in such manner into companies, that when one 
company had finished the divine service in the church,, 
another presently entered, and began it anew; and these 
having ended, a third immediately succeeded them. So 
that by this means prayer was offered up in the church 
without intermission, and the praises of God were ever ui 
their mouths. 


Mayi.i fcS". Stgismu7id. 17 

" Among these was one named Asaph, more particularly 
illustrious for his descent and his beauty, who from his child- 
hood shone forth brightly, both with virtues and miracles. 
He daily endeavoured to imitate his master, S. Kentigern, 
in all sanctity and abstinence ; and to him the man of God 
bore ever a special affection, insomuch that to his prudence 
he committed the care of the monastery." 

The story is told that one frosty bitter night, Kentigern 
had performed his usual discipline by .standing in the cold 
river whilst he recited certain psalms, and when he crawled 
to his cell, he was so numb with cold that he thought to 
die. Then Asaph ran to fetch fire, that the saintly bishop 
might warm himself. But finding no pan in which to bring 
the burning charcoal, and fearing to delay, he raked the 
fire into the lap of his woollen habit and ran and cast them 
down in the hearth before the frozen saint. 

S. Asaph became abbot, when S. Kentigern returned to 
Glasgow, and was also consecrated bishop, and converted 
Llan-Elwy into the seat of his diocese in North Wales. 

(a.d. 524.) 

[Roman and Galilean Martyrologies. Usuardus, Ado, Notker, Hrabanus. 
Authorities : — S. Gregory of Tours in his Hist. Francoruin, cc. 5 and 6.3 

S. SiGiSMUND was the son of Gundebald, king of Bur- 
gundy. He was converted from Arianism by S. Avitus, 
bishop of Vienne, in 515. His father died in 516, and 
thereupon he ascended the throne. Sigismund was a muni- 
ficent benefactor to the monastery of Agaunum or S. 
Maurice in the Valais, which he may be said to have 
founded, though religious men dwelt there before, yet it is 
probable that they inhabited the cave in the precipice 

VOL. V. 2 

1 8 Lives of the Saints. [M^y. 

above the town, which is still a hermitage. The stately 
tower of the abbey church in part dates from the foundation 
of S. Sigismund. S. Avitus preached at the dedication of 
the monastery.^ 

But Sigismund, if imbued with strong religious feelings, 
was not without frantic outbursts of barbarian rage, in one 
of which he was guilty of a horrible crime, which embittered 
the rest of his life. His first wife was Astrogotha or Amal- 
berga, the daughter of Theodoric the Goth, king of Italy, by 
whom he had a son named Sigeric. On her death, he 
married another wife, probably of inferior rank. The lad 
Sigeric bore his step-mother no warm love, and seeing her 
one day wearing the clothes of his own mother, burst 
forth into an angry exclamation of ** Your mistress's clothes 
do not become the back of her servant !'' His step-mother 
never forgave this remark, and schemed his death. She 
gradually worked upon the feelings of her husband, awaken- 
ing his fears of the power and ambition of Theodoric, and 
then pretending to discover a plot of the king of Italy to 
dethrone Sigismund and set up Sigeric in his place. The 
Burgundian king gave way to his ferocious passion, and in 
the blindness of his jealousy ordered the death of his son. 
A thong was slipped by two young men round the neck of 
Sigeric, as he slept, and the prince was strangled. No 
sooner was the crime committed, than the most agonizing 
remorse took possession of the king. He cast himself on 
the body of his son, and bathed the dead face with his 
tears. " Weep not for him, for he is at rest," said an old 
tcourtier standing by; "but weep, sire, for thyself, that by ill 
advice thou hast become a murderer of thy son." The king 

' One cannot sufficiently deplore the barbarous way in which this venerable 
•church has of late years been renovated, so that by the mean gim-crack tracery of 
the windows and wall-paper embellishments of the interior every token of dignity 
and religious gravity has been swept away. 

wayi] S. Sigismicnd. 19 

hastened to Agaunum, and remained in the monastery for 
some time fasting and weeping. He prayed in his sorrow 
that God would punish him in this world rather than in the 
next. The storm that was to overwhelm him was already 
gathering. Clothildis, wife of Clovis I., king of the 
Franks, was the daughter of Chilperic, king of Burgundy, 
who had been put to death, together with his wife and two 
sons, by Gundebald, the father of Sigismund. Consequently 
Clothildis not only desired to revenge the death of her 
father and brothers, but also laid claim to the kingdom of 
Burgundy. She, therefore, instigated her sonsj Chlodomer, 
king of Orleans, Childebert, king of Paris, and Clothaire, king 
of Soissons, against Sigismund, and gathering an army, they 
advanced against him, and his brother Gondomar fled. The 
Burgundian army was routed, and Sigismund endeavoured 
to find refuge at Agaunum ; but was overtaken in a forest 
with his wife and her sons, and Chlodomer carried them 
back with him captives to Orleans. Gondomar collected 
the dispersed army of his brother and recovered Burgundy. 
Chlodomer in the following year, 524, marched into Bur- 
gundy against Gondomar ; but, before starting, flung Sigis- 
mund, his wife and her sons, into a well at Columelle, near 
Orleans, saying, "I am not going to leave my enemy 
behind my back." As he advanced he called his half- 
brother, Theodoric, King of Belgic Gaul, to his aid. 

Theodoric had married Suavigotha, the daughter of 
Sigismimd, and though he pretended to be ready to assist 
Chlodomer, he resolved to revenge the death of his father- 
in-law, and at the same time advance his own ambition. 
In a battle engaged with Gondomar, he went over to the 
enemy, and Chlodomer fell. 

The body of S. Sigismund was taken to S. Maurice, and 
there buried. It was removed to the Cathedral of Prague 
by the Emperor Charles IV. Of this there is abundant 

20 Lives of the Saints. [May ». 

historical evidence. But the head is preserved at Plock on 
the Vistula, in Poland, and the Poles assert that it was 
given by Wenceslas I., king of Bohemia, to Sigismund I., 
king of Poland, his brother. However, an entire body of 
S. Sigismund, the head alone excepted, is shown at Imola 
to this day ; and the absence of the skull is accounted for 
by Charles IV., having taken it to Prague. 'J'his body is 
said to have been brought there, in 1146, by Rudolf the 
abbot, afterwards Bishop of Imola. But this statement is cer- 
tainly inaccurate, for Rudolf was translated to Ravenna in 
1 1 40. But another body, entire with the exception of the 
skull, exists and excites veneration at Monseve, near Bar- 
celona ; and Tainayus Salazar says that it was from this 
body that Charles IV. took the head to Prague. Other 
bodies are shown at Aquileia, in the Cathedral of Milan, 
and anciently at Cahors. There can be no question about 
the spuriousness of all these relics with the exception of 
those at Prague, whose genuineness is well established. 

(5TH OR 6th cent.) 

[Venerated as patron at S. Bricux, in Brittany. Feast of the translation 
of his relics, Oct. i8th. His life in the proper lections for his festival in the 
Church of S. Brieux is of little historical value.] 

The life of S. Brioch, as it has come to us, is singularly 
deficient in interest Like so many similar compositions drawn 
up long subsequent to the event, it contains scarcely a feature 
of interest, and few of the statements can be relied on as 
historically correct. All we are justified in concluding from 
the "life" is that he was a Briton, born probably in 
Cardigan. He is said to have become a disciple of S. 
Germain, but whether of S. Germain of Amxerre, or S. 

Mayi.] .SI Kellach. 21 

Germain of Paris, or of some other saint of the same name 
is unknown, He preached in Brittany, where his know- 
ledge of the Kehic tongue made him useful as an apostle. 
At Treguier he converted a chief named Conan, who gave 
liim lands at Landebaeron whereon to found a monastery. 
He afterwards went Eastward, and was well received by 
the chief Rignal, who lived near the mouth of the river 
Gonet, and who gave him a site, whereon he buHt a 
monastery, called S. Brieuc-des-Vaux, because it is at the 
junction of several vallies. For himself he established a 
hermitage near a spring, now called N6tre-Dame-de-la- 
Fontaine. The church of his monastery was afterwards 
converted into a cathedral. A portion of his relics are 
preserved at S. Brieux, a small portion also in the church 
of Benoit-sur-Loire. The festival of S. Brioch is celebrated 
in the diocese of S. Brieux on the second Sunday after 

His name has undergone various transformations, as 
Briocus, Briomaclus, Vriomoclus. He is represented 
treading on a dragon, or with a column of fire, which, 
according to tradition, designated him for ordination. 


(7TH CENT.) 

[Irish Martyrologies. Authority :— A life in Irish, less extravagant in 
marvels than most other lives of Irish saints, but yet late ; and mention in 
the Annals of the Four Masters.] 

S. Ceallach or Kellach, was the son of Eoghan Beul, 
son of Ceallach, son of Oilioll Molt His brother's name 
was Muireadhach or Cuchongilt Ihe family was that of 
Hy-Fiach* Fiach had two sons, Daud, king of Ireland> 

2 2 Lives of the Sazfiis, [Mayr. 

and Amalgad, king 6f Connaught. The father of Daud 
(Dathias) was the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages 
(d. 404.) Fergus and Donald, descendants of Niall by 
another son, attacked Eoghan the Fair, and in a battle on 
the banks of the Moy, he was grievously wounded, and 
died three days after. Eoghan left two sons, Ceallach, a 
monk at Clonmacnois, his eldest, and Cuchongilt, then a 
child. The chiefs of Connaught went to Clonmacnois, and 
invited Kellach to ascend the throne. He accepted the 
invitation, greatly to the disapproval of S. Kieran his abbots 
But wearied speedily with the dissensions among his nobles,, 
and their intrigues with the enemy, he deserted his throne,, 
and took refuge in a forest, where he remained concealed 
for a whole year. He then returned to Clonmacnois, and 
was received by S. Kieran as a returning prodigal. After a 
few years he was ordained priest, and then bishop of 
Killala. Being on a visit to his diocese, he was invited by 
Guaire, king of Connaught (d. 662) to visit him. Guaire 
was the son of Colman, of the Neill family, and he had 
assumed the throne on its being vacated by Kellach. The 
messenger sent to invite Kellach received as answer that 
the bishop would visit the king after he had said mass on 
Sunday, but he could not come before. The messenger 
instead of giving the exact answer, said that Kellach had 
refused to accompany him. Thereupon Guaire was angry, 
and sent orders that Kellach should be expelled his diocese. 
The saintly bishop retired to the islet of Edghair, in Lough 
Conn, and there remained with four of his disciples. 

Guaire, who was jealous and fearful of the bishop, whose- 
throne he had usurped, determined to rid himself of 
Kellach. He therefore bribed his four disciples, who were 
also his foster-brothers, and they brought the bishop to the 
mainland, and murdered him in a wood. Guaire granted 
the territory of Tirawley to the four murderers as a reward 

May I.] S. Kellach. 23 

for their services, and they thereupon erected a fort at Dun- 
Fine. Soon after the perpetration of the deed, Muireadhach 
or Cuchongilt, the brother of Kellach, came to visit his 
brother in his hermitage, but not finding him there, and 
hearing of what Guaire had done for the four foster- 
brothers, he at once suspected that his brother had been 
murdered. After some enquiries and searches, he found 
the body in the hollow trunk of an oak, torn by ravens, 
scald-crows, and wolves. Cuchongilt carried the mangled 
body to the church of Turloch for interment, but the clergy 
dreading the vengeance of king Guaire, would not permit 
it to be buried there; upon which it was taken to the churdi 
of Eiscreacha, where it was interred with due honour. 

Cuchongilt, after having chanted a short dirge over the 
grave of his brother, in which he vowed vengeance against 
the murderers, assembled an armed band of three hundred 
of his relatives and adherents, with whom, after having lived 
one year in Hy-Many, and some time in Meath, where he 
married Aifi, the daughter of Blathmac, king of Ireland, he 
at length returned to Tirawley, his own Fleasc lamha, or 
patrimonial inheritance, where, by the assistance of a swine- 
herd, he procured admittance to the fort of Dun-Fine, in 
which tlie murderers of his brother were banqueting. He 
remained at the banquet in the disguise of a swine-herd, 
until he observed that the four murderers and all their 
guests and attendants were stupid with intoxication, upon 
which he sent his friend, the swine-herd, for his armed band, 
who were concealed in the neighbourhood, and they rushing 
into the fort, slew all the guards and attendants, and seized 
upon the four murderers of Bishop Ceallach. 

The guests by no means recovered from their intoxi- 
cation on learning that it was Cuchongilt, the second son 
of king Eoghan Bel, and the brother of the murdered 
bishop, had thus disturbed their festivities, instead of 

24 Lives of the Saints. [Mayx. 

grieving at the occurrence, thought it suitable to finish 
their potations in honour of the rightful heir. 

On the next day Cuchongilt carried the four murderers 
in chains, southwards, through the territory from Dun- 
Fine to a place called Durlus Muaidhe, and across Lee 
Durluis, until he arrived at a place near the river Moy, 
since called Ard-na-riadh (now Ardnarea), />., the hill of 
executions, where he executed the four, cutting off all their 
limbs while they were living. 

After this Cuchongilt obtained the hostages of Tir Fia- 
chract and Tir Amhalgaidh, and compelled Guaire to live 
in Tir Fiachrach Aidhne, in the south of the province. 


(about A.D. 700.) 

fEelgian Martyrologies. Originally on July 25lh, now on May 1st. 
Authority :— -An ancient life.] 

EvERMAR, a native of Friesland, born of noble parents, 
came in the days of Pepin of Herstal on pilgrimage 
through Belgium to visit the tomb of S. Servais at Maes- 
tricht, and those of other saints in that part. He and his 
fellow pilgrims were overtaken by darkness at the entrance 
of the great forest of Ruth, in the Hesbaye, and seeing a 
light, they made their way towards it, and found a cottage. 
They tapped at the door, and asked for shelter. A woman 
admitted them, and told them that her husband, Hako, was 
the chief of a gang of robbers, and that they were in danger 
there, but as he would be likely to be out that night, she 
gave them food and lodging, and sent them away early 
next morning, cautioning them to avoid the direction in 
which the robbers had gone. The chief on his returnibund 
tliat some persons had been given shelter in his house, 

May I.] S. Tlieodard. 25 

pursued them with several of his men, and overtook 
them about mid-day beside a fountain where they were 
reposing. He slew them all, and robbed them of their 
purses. The bodies were found by Pepin of Herstal, who 
was hunting in the wood, and he gave them decent burial. 
A village rose about the tomb of S. Evermar, which was 
called Rothem, and is now called Russon. The relics of 
S. Evermar were placed in a chapel on the scene of the 
murder, in 1073. It has been lately restored. The chapel 
stands in a meadow surrounded by beech trees. The high 
altar is furnished with a painting representing the martyr- 
dom, and the two side altars are adorned with images, one 
of S. Mary, the other of S. Evermar. A very singular 
procession and spectacle is enacted here on the ist of May 
every year. The procession is headed by two "green- 
men," to represent savages, clothed in leaves, and armed 
with clubs. They are followed by seven men dressed as 
pilgrims, and behind them ride Hako and his robbers in 
suitable costume. On reaching the chapel high mass is 
sung, after which the martyrdom is enacted in the meadow 
near the fountain. One of the pilgrims runs away, and 
Hako brings him down with a shot from his pistol. Finally 
all the pilgrims are killed, but they soon revive, and wind 
up the evening in the village tavern. 


(CIRC. A.D. 893.) 

[Gallican Martyrologies. Authority : — A life founded partly on writtca 
accounts, partly on oral tradition, and when it was compiled is uncertain.] 

The writer of the ** Lives of the Saints" is presumed to 
be their panegyrist, but if he relates their lives as they 
really were, taking Holy Scripture as his model, it is his 

26 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi. 

duty not to gloss over their failings, and omit all mention 
of their faults. Holy Scripture mentions the fall of David, 
the apostasy of Solomon, the denial of S. Peter, and the 
hagiographer is dealing falsely with his materials if he does 
not relate what is blameworthy as well as what is to the 
praise of the saint whose life he is recording. 

S. Theodard is chiefly known through an event in his life 
which first brought him into notice, and which we cannot 
fail to regard with the strongest reprobation. At his time 
at Toulouse it was the custom on Christmas Day, on Good 
Friday, and on the Feast of the Assumption, for a Jew ta 
have his cheeks rudely boxed publicly before the cathedral 
doors, as part of the religious ceremonial. The Jews 
complained to the king, Carloman, son of Louis the 
Stammerer (d. 879), who reigned with his brother Louis 
II L The king bade the count of Toulouse call a council 
at Toulouse and investigate the case. Sigebod was 
then bishop, and the Jews made their complaint against 
him and the clergy of the cathedral. One would have 
supposed that the bishop would have been only too glad to 
have abandoned a custom as insulting as it was unchristian, 
but instead of doing so he resisted strenuously, and ap- 
pointed the youthful Theodard, who offered to argue the 
case, to be his advocate. Theodard then produced a 
document, which was imquestionably a forgery, and which 
purported to be a charter of Charlemagne requiring the 
perpetuation of the offensive ceremony, because the Jews 
of Toulouse had invited into the country the forces of 
Abdelraman, which he had just succeeded in defeating. 
As it happened, it was not Charlemagne but Charles Martel 
who defeated the Saracens and drove them out of the 
South of France ; but this may be an error of the writer of 
the life, and not of Theodard the advocate. Suffice it to 
say that the Jews were utterly confounded by the produc- 

May I.] S. Theodard. 27 

tioii of this charter, as well as they ncight be; and 
Theodard, pursuing the advantage thus unscrupulously 
gained, obtained that on each of the three festivals, the 
Jews exposed to the strokes at the cathedral gate should be 
required to exclaim, " This I receive because my people 
crucified Jesus Christ, God of Gods, and Lord of Lords." 
And should he refuse, he was to receive seven blows in- 
stead of one. Theodard condescended to argue with the 
unfortunate Jews; but, as Henschenius justly observes, "his 
arguments are more deserving of the name of quibbles." 

The archbishop of Narbonne was so satisfied with the 
conduct of Theodard in this scandalous affair, that he 
ordained him and made him his archdeacon. On the 
death of the archbishop, Theodard was elected to fill his 
room, and he was consecrated amidst general rejoicings, 
even those of the Jews, we are told, which the Jew Apella 
may believe if he lists. 

As archbishop he behaved with justice and was a model 
of piety. His seat was contested by a rival prelate, but 
Theodard obtained papal sanction and excommunicated 
his adversary. 

28 Lives of t/ce Sainls. i^iay 2. 

May 2. 

S. Secukpus. B, 0/ Avila, in Spain, xst cent. 

SS. Hk^perus and Zob and their Sons, MM, at Attaliaf ind cent, 

S., F.M, in Auvergne, ^th cent, 

S. Atranasius, Pope nf Alexandria^ a.d. 373. 

S. Germain, B,M, at Amiens, ^Ih cent, 

S. ViKDEMALis, B.C. in /ifrica, ^ih cent. 

S. Waldebert, Ab. ttf l.uxeuil, a. p. 66 j. 

S. WiBORADA, M. at S, Gall, in Stvitxerland, a.d. 90J. 

S. An'tony, Abp, of Florence, a.d. 1459. 


(2ND CENT.) 

[Greek Mensea, whence Baronius inserted the names in the Modem 
Roman Martyro'ogy, but by a mistake he called Hesperus, Exuperius. 
Authority :— Mention in the Menology and the Greek Acts, neither very 

ESPERUS AND ZOE were two slaves, the ser- 
vants of a wealthy man named Catalus, at 
Attalia, in Pamphylia. Their sons were called 
Cyriac and Theodulus, and the boys as well as 
their parents were Christians. One day the boys said to 
their mother, " Why should we who serve Christ be slaves 
to this heathen man? Did not S. Paul say, Be not un- 
equally yoked together with unbelievers?" The mother 
was not much more instructed in S. Paul than her sons, 
and she urged them to resist their roaster, rather than to 
obey him. She was wrong, and they were wrong ; but they 
acted ignorantly, and their ignorance must excuse them. 
Anyhow they suffered for their disobedience, for their 
master, after having racked them, cast them all into a furnace, 
and by their blood they expiated their offence. 

^'.\v2.l Sc Athaiiasius. 29 


(a.d. 375.) 

[Roman Martyrology, By the Greeks on the i8th Jan. Authorities :— 
The works of S. Athanasius, especially the historical tracts ; Socrates, 
Sozomen, Theodoret, Rufinus, the 21st oration of S. Gregory Nazianzen, 
and the letters of S. Basil.] 

Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, was entertaining his 
clergy in a house overlooking the sea. He observed a 
group of children playing on the sands, and was struck by 
the grave appearance of their game. His attendant clergy 
went, at his orders, to catch the boys and bring them before 
the bishop, who taxed them with having played at religious 
ceremonies. At first, like boys caught at a mischievous 
game, they denied ; but at last confessed that they had 
been imitating the sacrament of baptism ; that one of them 
had been selected to perform the part of bishop, and that 
he had duly dipped them in the sea, with all the proper 
questions, and with the proper invocation. When Alex- 
ander found that all the essential forms which render 
baptism valid had been complied with, he added the con- 
secrating oil of confirmation, to seal the sacrament that had 
been administered; and was so much struck with the 
knowledge and gravity of the boy-bishop, that he took him 
under his charge. This little boy was Athanasius, already 
showing the seriousness which was to stamp his future life. 

From this incident arose the connection of Athanasius 
with the aged Alexander, He became his archdeacon, the 
head of that body of deacons whose duty it was to attend 
upon the bishop. 

And now a period of trial was coming on the Church, 
more severe than persecution from without, from which she 
had just escaped. She was to be proved with heresy. All 
the power of the greatest empire of the old world had been 

30 Lives of the Saints. [Maya. 

directed by Satan against the Church to crush her by 
violence, and it had failed ; now he sought her overthrow 
hy stirring up heresy within. The heresy which was to 
disturb the peace of the Church and imperil her existence 
was an assault upon the foundation of her faith, the nature 
of Jesus Christ. 

At Alexandria was a church called the Baucalis, which 
was presided over by a priest of the name of Arius, a man 
of talents and eloquence, who had aspired to the throne 
of Alexandria, and bitterly resented the election of S. 
Alexander in preference to himself. First in private, then 
openly in his church, Arius began to dispute the truth of 
the Eternal Godhead of Jesus Christ. The bishop hesi- 
tated long before he took action, lest he should seem to be 
acting out of personal feeling against a rival aspirant to the 
see ; but when one of the priests of Alexandria, condemn- 
ing, his inaction, formed a sect among the orthodox, and 
presumed to ordain priests, he felt that he could remain 
inactive no longer, and he cited Arius to a synod, and then 
summoned a council of the African Church to hear his 
doctrines and to decide upon them. 

These doctrines spread rapidly. It was so much easier 
to believe that Jesus was a divinely inspired man, than that 
He is God of the substance of the Father, begotten eter- 
nally, before all time ; and Man, of the substance of His 
Mother, born in the world, perfect God and perfect man. 

We can form, by means of the descriptions which have 
come down to us, a vivid image of the great heresiarch. 
He was a tall elderly man, with a worn, pallid face, and 
downcast eyes. The quiet gravity of his bearing, the 
sweet persuasive voice, with its ready greetings and its 
fluent logic, exerted a wonderful fasc^r^ation on many with 
whom he came in contact. 
A hundred bishops met in council at Alexandria, in 320. 

May 3. J S. Ai/ianaszus. .31 

It was ascertained by this assembly that, according to the 
doctrine of Arius, Christ was the first of creatures, and in 
that sense the Only-begotten. The Arians were asked 
whether Christ Jesus could become bad. They answered, 
" Ves, He can'^ The council replied to this fearful utter- 
ance by a solemn condemnation of Arius, with two bishops 
who adhered to him, five priests and six deacons.' 

Arius, expelled from Alexandria, not indeed before his 
opinions had spread through the whole of Egypt and Libya, 
retired to the more congenial atmosphere of S3rria. There 
his vague theory caught the less severely reasoning, and 
more imaginative minds of the Syrian bishops. The most 
learned, the most influential, even some of the most pious, 
imited themselves to his party. The chief of these were 
the two prelates named Eusebius— one the ecclesiastical 
historian, the other the bishop of the important city of 
Nicom^ia. Throughout the East, the controversy was 
propagated with earnest rapidity. It was not repressed by 
the attempts of the emperor Licinius to interrupt the free 
intercourse between the Christian communities, and his 
prohibition of the ecclesiastical synods. The ill-smothered 
flame burst into ten-fold fury on the re-union of the East to 
the empire of Consta^tine. The interference of the em 
peror was loudly demanded to allay the strife which dis- 
tracted the Christendom of the East. 

1 <( We can never understand the history of error until we to some extent apprc^ 

4:iate its attractions. What was the charm that Arianism possessed, during so 

many years, for adherents so diverse both in race and character? First, it was a 

'form of rationalism, and therefore a relief to minds that shrunk from so awful a 

mystery as the Incarnation of the Eternal. Secondly, it was a vague, elastic 

creed, congenial to those who disliked all definite doctrine. Thirdly, it appealed 

to many by its affinity to older heresies. Fourthly, its assertion of a created and 

inferior godhead would come home to persons in transition from polytheism to 

•Christianity. Fifthly, the scope which it practically allowed to a profane and 

worldly temper was agreeable to the multitudes for whom the Church was too 

.austere, who desired a relaxed and adapted Gospel.'* Canon Brtght's Church 

Jiist, p. zj. 

32 Lives of t/te Saints. [Maya. 

A general council of the bishops of the whole Catholic 
Church was summoned by the imperial mandate to establish 
the true doctrine of the Church. 

"In the close of the month of May, 1853," writes Dean 
Stanley,^ " it was my good fortune to be descending, in the 
moonlight of an early morning, from the wooded steeps of 
one of the mountain ranges of Bithynia. As the dawn 
rose, and as we approached the foot of these hills, through 
the thick mists which lay over the plain, there gradually 
broke upon our view the two features which mark the city 
of Nicaea. Beneath us lay the long inland lake — ^the As- 
canian Lake — which, communicating at its western ex- 
tremity by a small inlet with the Sea of Marmora, fills up 
almost the whole valley. At the head of the lake appeared 
the oblong space enclosed by the ancient walls, of which 
the rectangular form indicates with unmistakable precision 
the original founders of the city. It was the outliilfe given 
to all the Oriental towns built by the successors of Alex- 
ander. Alexandria, Antioch, Damascus, Palmyra, were all 
constructed on the same model of a complete square, 
intersected by four straight streets adorned with a colonnade 
on each side. This we know to have been the appearance 
of Nicaea, as founded by Lysimachus and re-built by 
Antigonus ; and this is still the form of the present walls, 
which although they enclor.e a larger space than the first 
Greek city, yet are evidently as early as the time of the 
Roman Empire. Within this circuit all is now a wilderness, 
over broken colunms, and through tangled thickets, the 
traveller with difficulty makes his way to the wretched 
Turkish village of Isnik, which occupies the centre of the 
vacant space. In the midst of this village, surrounded by 
a few ruined mosques on whose summits stand the never- 
failing storks of the deserted cities of the East, remains a 

1 Lectures on the Eastern Church, lec. iii. 

May 2.3 S, Atkajiasms. 33 

solitary Christian Church, dedicated to 'the Repose of the 
Virgin.' Within the church is a rude picture commemo- 
rating the one event which, amidst all the vicissitudes of 
Nicaea, has secured for it an immortal name." 

Such was the place, the chestnut woods green with the 
first burst of summer, the same sloping hills, the same 
tranquil lake, the same snow-capped Olympus from, afar 
brooding over the whole scene ; but, in every other respect, 
how entirely different, when met in the spring of 325 the 
memorable first General Council of the Church. 

The actual number of bishops present, variously stated 
in the earlier authorities as 218, 250, 270, or 300, was finally 
believed to have been 320 or 318, and this in the Eastern 
Church has .so completely been identified with the event, 
that the council is often known as that of * the 318.' But it 
was the diversity of the persons, and the strongly marked 
characters dividing each from each, which, more than any 
mere display of numbers, constituted this peculiar interest. 
Eusebius, himself an eye-witness, as he enumerates the 
various bishops from various countries, of various ages and 
positions, thus collected, compares the scene to a garland 
of flowers gathered in season, of all manner of colours, 
or to the assembly of diverse nations at Pentecost. Many 
there had lost friend or brother in persecution. Many still 
bore the marks of their sufferings. Some uncovered their 
sides and backs to show the wounds they had received for 
Christ, the God-Man, to whose. Divinity they had come 
to testify, having felt, in the hour of need. His divine 
power. On others were the traces of that peculiar 
cruelty which distinguished the last persecution, the loss of 
a right eye, or the searing of the sinews of the leg. 

Alexander, the " Pope " of Alexandria, was there, who 
had bravely in his old age contended for the faith once 
delivered to the saints. The shadow of death was already 

VOL. v. X 

34 Lives of the Saints. [Mava. 

upon him; in a few months he would have gained the 
crown he had merited as confessing Christ before men. 
Close beside the old bishop is a small, insignificant young 
man,^ of hardly twenty-five years of age, of lively manners 
and speech, and of a bright, serene countenance of angelic 
beauty. His nose is aquiline, his mouth small, and his 
hair of that rich auburn which is still found on the h«ads of 
Egyptian mummies, and is therefore compatible with a pure 
Egyptian descent. This is Athanasius the archdeacon, 
Athanasius the Great in soul, if puny in body. On the 
steadfastness of that little man, humanly speaking, the faith 
and fate of the Catholic Church depended. Next after the 
pope and deacon of Alexandria, we must turn to one of its 
most important priests, he on account of whom this great 
council is gathered, Arius the Heresiarch. We have al- 
ready sketched his appearance, let us fill in the outline 
here. He is at this period sixty years of age, very tall and 
thin, and bowed, as if unable to support his long back. He 
has an odd way of contorting and twisting himself, which 
his enemies compared to the wrigglings of a snake. The 
old sweet expression of his face is changed into one of 
Mtterness, and he blinks in the glare of the sun, being near- 
rsighted. At times his veins throb and swell, and his limbs 
tremble, as if suffering from some violent internal com- 
plaint, — the same, perhaps, that will tenninate one day in 
his sudden and dreadful death. There is a wild look about 
him, which at first sight is startling. His grizzled hair 
hangs in a tangled mass over his head. He is usually 
: silent, with his ashy grey lips tightly compressed, but at 
times his wild eye flashes, and he bursts into fierce excite- 
ment, such as give the impression of madness. We need 
not describe the great saints present, they will march before 

1 Julian the Apostate calls him "a puny little fellow." S. Gregory Nazianzen 
peaks of the angelic beauty of his countenance. 

^iay2.] S. Athanasius, 35 

tis in solemn order, singly, as we follow the course of our 
history of the Holy Ones of God's Church. 

Before the emperor's arrival, the council met in the 
cathedral of Nicaea. Arius was summoned and examined. 
He boldly declared that he held the Son to be a creature 
who once did not exist, who was made by God out of 
nothing, and who might have fallen into sin. A thrill of 
horror ran through the assembly ; many bishops stopped 
their ears ; Nicolas of Myra, if we may believe the per- 
sistent tradition of the Eastern Church, smote Arius on 
the mouth, and for having so far forgot himself, was 
condemned by the bishops assembled to lay aside his 
mitre during the session of the council. Some of the 
bishops said they had heard enough ; others insisted on a 
thorough discussion. On the 3rd of July the council was 
transferred to the palace. Constantine appeared in purple 
and gold, but without guards. Modest and graceful in 
address, he listened to all with attentive patience, dis- 
claiming all thought of dictation to the prelates, and before 
him Arius was heard again. The bishop of Nicomedia 
attempted to defend him. When it appeared that the very 
Godhead of the Redeemer must be proclaimed in un- 
mistakeable terms, in order that the Church might be 
preserved from encouraging error, the Nicene Creed was 
drawn up declaring the very and essential Godhead of the 
Son. Seventeen Arianizing bishops objected to sign the 
Creed; Eusebius of Caesarea among the number; but 
after some consideration he gave way, on grounds which 
cannot be called satisfactory as regards his personal faith. 
Others yielded under menace of civil penalties, for the 
emperor was resolved to enforce unity; until at last only 
five were left. 

Throughout the proceedings of the council, Athanasius 
the deacon was conspicuous by his zeal, the clearness of 

36 Lives of the Saints. [May 2, 

his perception of the gravity of the points at issue, and his 
argumentative power in disconcerting the Arians. 

A synodal letter was addressed by the council to the 
Egyptian and Libyan churches, recounting what had been 
done, praising the venerable Alexander, and concluding 
thus : — " Pray for us all, that what we have thought good 
to determine may remain inviolate, through God Almighty, 
and through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, to 
Whom be glory for evermore. Amen." 

Ultimately this prayer was granted to the full; and it 
was the council's loyalty to inherited faith which secured 
for it a position of such unrivalled majesty. When its- 
sessions were closed on the 25th of August, individual 
Catholics might still have much to suffer, but the cause of 
the Catholic faith was won. 

A few weeks after the close of the council, Alexander 
died, and Athanasius succeeded to the vacant see. It was 
a marked epoch, in every sense, for the Egyptian Primacy. 
Down to this time the election to this great post had been 
conducted in a manner unlike that of the other sees of 
Christendom. Twelve priests endowed with full episcopal 
character — that is having received full episcopal conse- 
cration — but without any jurisdiction, were the electors 
and nominators, and according to Eutychius, the conse- 
crators. It formed an apostolic college, modelled on that 
of the first twelve, and endowed with all apostolic power, 
but not having territorial jurisdiction. It was on the death 
of Alexander that this ancient custom was exchanged for 
one more nearly resembling that which prevailed elsewhere. 
Fifty bishops of the neighbouring dioceses were convened, 
and proceeded with the election. Athanasius had been 
named both by the dying primate and by the people as 
the new bishop. He fled, but was brought back and 
solemnly consecrated, amid the rejoicings of the people 

Maya.] 6*. Athafuzsucs. 37 

who had besought the bishops to give them " the good, the 
pious, the Christian, the ascetic Athanasius." 

The consecration of S. Athanasius took place in the end 
of 326 ; and shortly afterwards we see him seated in council 
with his brethren, to hear tidings of great interest from the 
South. It was indeed a wonderful story of unexpected 
providences. The narrator was Frumentius, who had been 
regent of Abyssinia. His story was simple and touching. 
A philosopher of Tyre, Moripius by nam^ had embarked 
on a voyage of investigation down the Red Sea. He had 
taken with him two children, relations of his own. At a 
seaport of Ethiopia the savage inhabitants attacked them, 
and massacred all the crew. The two boys, Frumentius 
and Edesius, were taken prisoners before the king, who 
received them, and they gradually rose into his confidence, 
and that of his widow, as the instructors of his son. When 
the prince came of age, Edesius departed to Tyre, but 
Frumentius came to the- archbishop of Alexandria to 
announce that a door was opened in Abyssinia, and that 
labourers were needed to gather in there an abundant 
harvest of souls. Then S. Athanasius ordained Frumentius 
as bishop of Axum ; and the newly formed community 
grew into a national Church, which honoured Frumentius 
as its father and apostle. 

Towards the close of 328, the Arian troubles began 
anew. Eusebius of Nicomedia had gained the ear of 
Constantine, and everywhere the disbelievers in the Eternal 
Clodhead of Jesus rose into imperial favour. Their first 
victim was Eustathius of Antioch, who was deposed and 
banished by a synod of Arians, in 331. Other faithfiil 
bishops were persecuted by the faction. Constantine wrote 
to Athanasius in the tone of a despot to a rebellious subject, 
■ordering him immediately to receive Arius into communion. 

But Constantine found, to his astonishment, that an 

38 Lives of the Saints. [Maya- 

imperial edict, which would have been obeyed in trembling, 
submission from one end of the Roman empire to the 
other, even if it had enacted a complete political revolution,, 
or endangered the property and privileges of thousands,, 
was received with deliberate and steady disregard by a. 
single Christian bishop. 

Then Eusebius of Nicomedia devised a series of charges, 
against Athanasius, in the hopes of ruining him. He was- 
accused of having murdered a certain bishop named 
Arsenius, and cut off his hand and kept it for magical 
purposes. A prince of the imperial family was sent to- 
enquire into this matter, and sent the Archbishop notice to- 
prepare for a trial at Antioch. At first Athanasius treated 
the charge with scorn. But as Constantine was disturbed 
by it, a deacon was sent to enquire throughout Egypt 
whether Arsenius were dead or alive. The messenger fell 
in with four persons, who confessed that he was concealed 
in a monastery in Thebaid. The superior, who was in league 
with' the enemies of Athanasius, lost no time in sending 
Arsenius away. The deacon, however, arrested the superior, 
and had him examined by the military officer in command 
at Alexandria. Then the truth came out. Shortly after-- 
wards the man Arsenius himself was recognized in the 
streets of Tyre by some friends of Athanasius, who at once 
denounced him. 

After an ineffectual attempt by the Arians to mini 
Athanasius by a council at Caesarea, which he refused to 
attend, he was warned in the next year, 335, to attend a 
council at Tyre, with the threat that if he reftised he should 
be carried thither by force. Forty-nine Egyptian bishops 
attended Athanasius, and protested against several of the- 
judges as avowedly hostile to him. 

One of the Egyptians, Potamon, who had lost an eye im 
^the persecution, exclaimed aloud to the Arian Eusebius of 

Maya.] S. Atkafiasius, 39 

Csesarea, " Do you sit there as a judge of the innocent, 
Athanasius? When I was maimed for the Lord's cause, 
how came you to escape without betraying it?" 

Supported by the Count Dionysius, who presided over 
the assembly, the Arians were masters of the position ; and 
one reckless charge followed fast upon another. A woman 
was suborned to denounce Athanasius, and put to shame her 
employers by mistaking one of his priests for the man 
whom she was bribed to accuse. When she had made her 
charge, Athanasius was silent; while one of his friends, 
with ready wit assuming gteat indignation, demanded, "Do 
you accuse me of the -crime ?'' "Yes,'' replied the woman, 
turning upon him, and supposing him to be Athanasius, 
" You are the man I accused." Then they produced the 
hand of Arsenius in a wooden box, and excited by the 
display of it a cry of horror. Athanasius calmly asked, 
" Did any of you know Arsenius ?" " We knew him well." 
A muffled figure was introduced. He showed the face first, 
and asked all round : "Is this Arsenius whom I murdered?'' 
He drew out from behind the cloak, first one hand and 
then the other. " Let no one now ask for a third ; for God 
has only given a man two hands." Incredible as it may 
appear, the Arians met this exposure of the worthlessness 
of their charges by raising a clamour of witchcraft. " Away 
with the sorcerer!" and the authorities had to rescue 
Athanasius by hurrying him on board ship. 

Another charge against him was that he had violently 
interrupted the holy Sacrifice whilst it was being performed 
by a certain man who had been uncanonically ordained 
priest, and had broken the chalice. The Council of Tyre 
appointed six of the bitterest enemies of Athanasius to 
gather information on this charge. Athanasius had already 
disproved it as completely as the other charges. His 
enemies obtained the support of Philagrius, the praefect of 

40 Lives of tite Saints. [Maya. 

Egypt, an apostate to heathenism, who attended to intimi- 
date the witnesses. Unfortunately for their accusation, it 
came out that the man who was said to have been acting 
as celebrant was at the very time when the alleged outrage 
took place, lying sick in his bed elsewhere. 

The emperor Constantine was entering Constanllnoplc 
in state. A small figure darted across his path in ihe 
middle of the square, and stopped his horse. 'J'he emperor, 
thunderstruck, tried to pass on ; he could nol guess who 
the petitioner could be. It was Athanasius, come to insist 
on justice, which was denied him. Meanwhile the council 
at Tyre had condemned him on the ground of the accusa- 
tions ; and Arsenius signed the sentence against his alleged 
murderer with the hand Athanasius was charged with 
having cut off. 

The bishops then proceeded to Jerusalem, where the 
dedication of the Church of the Resurrection Constantino 
had built over the Holy Sepulchre was celebrated with 
great splendour, Sept 13th, 335. 

Constantine now wrote a peremptory letter, blaming the 
bishops of the Council of Tyre for their disregard of justice. 
They received the letter at Jerusalem, and Eusebian craft 
was equal to the emergency. They dropped the recent 
charges against Athanasius, and resolved to take the 
emperor on his weak side. 

The six most active foes of Athanasius went up to court, 
and put forward a new charge — that he had irivd 10 prevent 
the sailing of the corn ships from Alexandria, which sup- 
plied the market at Constantinople. Ailianasi.s jtrolcstcd 
that the thing was impossible for one hkc lihuotlf, a poor 
man in a private station. Kuscbius of Niconicdia aflirmed 
with an oath, that Athanasius was a rich man who could 
do anything; and Constantine, who in the hands of 
Eusebius was a child, turned a deaf ear to Athanasius and 

Maya] S. Athaiiashts, 41 


banished him to Treves, where the bishop, S. Maiximus, 
received him with all honour, ia February, 336. 

The last act of Constantine, as he lay dyinj (337) was to 
recall the banished Athanasius. Constantius, the second 
son of the great emperor, secured for himself the dominion 
of the East. Constantius was only twenty at his accession. 
His character was singularly repulsive. In the weakness 
which made him a tool of household favourites, in the 
despotic arrogance which took the place of moral dignity, 
in the suspiciousness which hardened his heart and defiled 
his palace with kindred blood, the worst features of his 
father's character appear exaggerated. He fell under the 
influence of the wily Eusebius of Nicomedia, and was 
readily converted to the lax creed of Arianism. 

The exiled bishops were however recalled in 338. Con- 
stantine II., writing on June 17th from Treves, informed 
the Alexandrians that he was but fulfilling his father's 
intentions in sending back their bishops. 

The Arians again set to work against Athanasius. 
Three priests were sent to accuse him on old and new 
charges, before Julius, Pope of Rome. Eut a great council 
of the Catholic prelates of Egypt put forth a solemn 
encyclic, testifying to the innocence of their chief, and 
denouncing the murderous animosity of his accusers. 
Pistus, an excommunicated Arian, was consecrated by an 
Arian prelate, and set up as a rival at Alexandria. In 341 
the Arian bishops relying on the support of the emperoi^ 
held a council at Antioch, in which they confirmed the 
condemnation of Athanasius pronounced at Tyre, and 
appointed a Cappadocian, named Gregory, to be bishop of 
Alexandria, in the room of Athanasius. In the Lent of the 
same year, he was installed by the renegade prefect, 
Philagrius. Hideous outrages by pagan soldiers attended 
his intrusion. The altar candles were lighted before pagan 

42 Lives of the Saints, [Maya. 

idols \ Catholics, male and female, were insulted and beaten 
on Good Friday and Easter Day, to the delight of the 
unbelievers ; the old confessor, Potamon, was so cruelly 
scourged, that careful nursing could only for a time restore 
him, and Athanasius' aunt was denied a grave. The last 
extremity of sacrilege was reached by castipg the Holy 
Eucharist on the ground. This league between Pagans 
and Arians is significant \ the former saw that in the hands 
of the latter Christianity lost the main part of what they 

Athanasius, acting on the command to flee from perse- 
cution, withdrew to Rome, and laid his case before the 
Roman Church. Pope Julius summoned the Eastern 
bishops to a council to try the case, but as they did not 
come, Julius and fifty bishops met, and recognized Atha- 
nasius as innocent. 

Constans, emperor of the West, determined on a council 
which might restore peace to the distracted Church. He 
told Athanasius that he had written to his brother Con- 
stantius, who agreed to the proposal. The place selected 
was Sardica. About 170 bishops assembled in the year 
347. The Arian prelates, about seventy-six in number, at 
first expected that the assembly would be like those with 
which they were familiar, in which counts and soldiers were 
ready to overawe their opponents. Finding that, on the 
contrary, those opponents would confront them, they 
resolved, while on their journey, to take no real part in 
the proceedings, but simply to announce their arrival. 
Accordingly, on coming to Sardica, they shut themselves up 
in the palace where they lodged, and sent word that they 
would not attend, until their opponents were deprived of 
seats in the council. "This is a General Council," was the 
reply; **the whole case is to be laid before its judgment 
Come and present your own statements ; Athanasius and 

May a. J S. Atkatiasms. 43 

his friends are ready to meet you, and the council is ready 
to hear both sides." But this the Arians were not disposed 
to abide, and they decamped, on the pretext that Con- 
stantius had sent them news of a victory over the 
Persians. On receiving this message, the council rebuked 
their "indecent and suspicious flight," in a letter which 
announced that unless they returned they would be held 
as guilty. Instead of returning, they established them- 
selves at Philippopolis, formed themselves into a petty 
council, and re-affirmed their former sentences against 
Athanasius. The true council, meanwhile, proceeded to 
examine the case before them, and Athanasius and his 
brethren were acknowledged as innocent men, and ortho- 
dox bishops. A Western council at Milan accepted the 
decree of the council of Sardica, absolving Athanasius 
of all criniinality, and proclaiming his doctrine as orthodox. 

And now, on a sudden, affairs took a new turn. 

Athanasius had spent eight years in exile, when the 
emperor Constantius found it politically expedient to 
restore him. He was about to engage in a Persian war ; 
and at this dangerous crisis, the admonitions of his brother 
Constans, Emperor of the West, a zealous supporter of 
Athanasius, not unmingled with warlike menace, enforced 
the expediency of a temporary reconciliation with Atha- 
nasius. In 349 Constantius recalled the great bishop, met 
him at Antioch with expressions of respect and cordiality, 
ordered all the accusations against him to be erased from 
the registers of the city, and commended the prelate to the 
people of Alexandria in terms of courtly flattery. The 
Arian bishop Gregory was dead, and Athanasius, amid 
universal joy, returned to Alexandria. There was awe, 
almost amounting to consternation at the greatness of the 
event. The scene is described by S. Gregory Nazianzen. 
It lingered in the recollections of all who had seen it, as 

44 Lives of the Saints. [Maya. 

the most splendid spectacle of the age. The population 
of Alexandria poured forth, as was their habit on such 
occasions, not in the indiscriminate confusion of a modem 
populace, but in a certain stateliness of arrangement. 
Each trade and profession kept its own place. The men 
and women were apart The children formed a mass by 
themselves. As the mighty stream rolled out of the gates, 
it was as if the Nile, at the height of its flood, had turned 
in its course, and flowed backwards from Alexandiia to- 
wards the first outpost of the city. Branches of trees were 
waved aloft, carpets of the gayest colours and richest 
textures were spread under the feet of the ass on which 
Athanasius rode. There was a long unbroken shout of 
applause; thousands of hands clapped with delight; the 
air was scented with the ointments poured cut ; the city at 
night flashed with illuminations. Long afterwards, when a 
popular prefect of Alexandria was received with vast en- 
thusiasm, and two bystanders were comparing it with all 
possible demonstrations that they could imagine, and the 
younger had said, " Even if the Emperor Constantine him- 
self were to come, he could not be so received;" the other 
replied with a smile and an Egyptian oath, ** Do you call 
that a wonderful sight? The only thing to which you ought 
to compare it is the reception of the great Athanasius." 

The political troubles of three years left Athanasius in 
quiet possession of his see. The ivar of Persia brought 
some fame to the arms of Constantius ; and m the more 
honourable character, not of the antagonist, but the avenger 
of his murdered brother Constans, the surviv ng son of 
Constantine again united the East and West under hi*^ 
sole dominion. Magnentius, who had usurped the Western 
Empire and mounted the throne over the bloody corpse of 
the murdered Constans, fell before the avenging arm of 

Maya.] 6*. Atkanaszus. 


But with the death of Constans, Athanasius had lost his 
protector, and he was left at the mercy of his enemies. But 
either the fears of the emperor, or the caution of the Arian 
party, delayed yet for three or four years to execute their 
revenge on Athanasius. Paul, the Catholic bishop of 
Constantinople, was deposed, and the Arian Macedonius 
was installed in his place. But before the decisive blow 
was struck against Athanasius, Constantius endeavoured to 
subdue the West to Arian views. He summoned a council 
at Milan (355), and that the proceedings might take place 
more immediately under his own supervision, adjourned the 
assembly to the palace. The controversy became a per- 
sonal question between the emperor and his refractory 
subject, Athanasius. New charges were raked up against- 
the great bulwark of the faith. He was accused of 
treasonable correspondence with the usurper Magnentius. 
Athanasius repelled the charge with natural indignation. 
He defied his enemies to produce the smallest evidence of 
such conduct. The emperor descended into the arena, 
and mingled in the contest ; he was resolved to force the 
Western Church into the adoption of an Arian Creed, and 
the condemnation of Athanasius. The obsequious and 
almost adoring court of the emperor stood aghast at the 
audacity of the ecclesiastical synod in refusing acquies- 
cence. Constantius, concealed behind a curtain, listened 
to the debate, he heard his own name coupled with that of 
heretic, of Antichrist. His indignation knew no bounds. 
He proclaimed himself the champion of Arian doctrines, 
and the accuser of Athanasius. The bishops demanded a 
free council, in which the emperor should neither preside 
in person, nor by his commissary. They lifted up their 
hands and entreated the angry Constantius not to mingle up 
the affairs of the state and of the Church. Three prelates, 
Lucifer of Cagliari, Eusebius of Vercellse, Dionysius of 

46 Lives of tlie Saints, cMay 2. 

Milan, were banished, and shortly after Liberius, Pope or 

And now the scene darkened to its deepest about 
Athanasius, and one light after another *was eclipsed in the 
firmament of the Church. First the aged Hosius, the 
champion of orthodoxy at Nicsea, now an old man of over 
-a hundred years, tottering on the brink of the grave, was 
beguiled into signing an Arian creed, but he stead- 
fastly refused to denounce Athanasius. But a worse blow 
was the fall of Liberius, the Roman Pontiff. He wrote to 
the Orientals : " I do not defend Athanasius — I have been 
convinced that he was justly condemned ;" and added that 
he renounced communion with him, and accepted the 
Arian creed drawn up at Sirmium. " This I have received ; 
this I follow ; this I hold." S. Hilary, who transcribes this 
letter, in his agony of shame and wrath, adds some com- 
ments of his own : " This is the perfidious Arian faith. 
{This is my remark, not the apostate's.) I say anathema 
to thee, Liberius, and thy fellows ; again, and a third time, 
anathema to thee, thou prevaricator Liberius I"^ 

On Jan. 17th, 356, Antony, the great hermit, died, aged 
105, calmly bequeathing "a garment and a sheep skin to 
the bishop Athanasius." On Thursday night, the 8th of 
February, Athanasius was presiding over a vigil service at 
S. Theonas' Church, in preparation for a communion on 
the morrow. Syrianus, the governor of Egypt, suddenly 
beset the church at the head of more than five thousand 
armed men. The presence of mind for which he was 
famous did not desert the bishop. Behind the altar was 
the episcopal throne. On this he took his seat, and 
ordered his attendant deacon to chant the 135th (a. v. 136) 
Psalm ; the response to every verse was thundered by the 
congregation, **For his mercy endureth for ever." The 

1 Hil. Fragm. 6. 6. 

May 2.1 S. Athanastus. 47. 

psalm was not finished when the doors were burst open ; 
with a loud shout, a deadly discharge of arrows, and 
swords brandished, the soldiers rushed in, killing some of 
the people, and trampling down others, as they pressed on 
to secure their main object by seizing Athanasius. The 
bishop refused to go till most of the congregation had 
retired. But now he was awept away in the crowd. In 
his own version of the story, he is at a loss to account for 
his escape. But his diminutive figure may well have 
passed unseen ; and we learn, besides, that he was actually 
carried out in a swoon, which sufficiently explains his own 
ignorance of the means of his deliverance. The church was 
piled with dead, and the floor was strewn with the swords 
and arrows of the soldiers. Athanasius had vanished, no 
one knew whither, into the darkness of the winter night 

The Arians were prepared to replace the deposed 
prelate; their choice fell on another Cappadocian, more 
savage and unprincipled than the former one. Constant ius 
commended George of Cappadocia^ to the people of 
Alexandria, as a prelate above praise, the wisest of teachers, 
the fittest guide to the kingdom of heaven. He entered 
Alexandria environed by the troops of Syrianus. His 
presence let loose the rabid violence of his party. Houses 
were plundered ; monasteries burned*; tombs broken open, 
search made for concealed Catholics, or for Athanasius 
himself, who still eluded their pursuit; bishops were in- 
sulted ; virgins scourged ; the soldiery encouraged to break 
up every meeting of the Catholics by violence, and even by 
inhuman tortures. Everywhere the Athanasian bishops were 
expelled from their sees; they were driven into banishment. 
Athanasius, after many strange adventures, having been 
concealed in a dry cistern, and in the chamber of a pious 
woman, found refuge at length among the monks of the 

' See an accoiint of th-is Arian prelate In the life of S. George, April 23rd. 

48 Lives of the Sainis. [Maya. 

desert. Eg3rpt is bordered on all sides by wastes of sand^ 
or by barren rocks, broken into caves and intricate passes^ 
and all these solitudes were now peopled by hermits. 
They were all devoted to the Catholic faith, and attached 
to the person of Athanasius. As he had been the great 
example of a dignified, active, and zealous bishop, so now 
was he of an ascetic and mortified solitary. Among these 
devoted adherents his security was complete; their pas- 
sionate reverence admitted not the fear of treachery. The 
more active and inquisitive the search of his enemies, he 
had only to plunge deeper into the inaccessible and in- 
scrutable desert. From this solitude Athanasius himself is 
supposed sometimes to have issued forth, and, passing the 
seas, to have traversed even parts of the West, animating 
his followers, and confirming the faith of tlie Catholics. 
Perhaps — indeed the expressions used in his own writings 
lead us to believe it — Athanasius was present in disguise at 
the council of Rimini. It was then that any one but 
'Athanasius would have sunk into despair. That council 
consisted of at least four hundred bishops, of whom above 
eighty were Arians. The resolutions of the majority were 
firm and peremptory. They repudiated the Arian doctrines; 
they expressed their rigid adherence to the formulary of 
Nicsea, but by degrees the council, from which its firmest 
and most resolute members had gradually departed, and in 
which many poor and aged bishops still retained their seats, 
wearied, perplexed, worn out by the expense and discomfort 
of a long residence in a foreign city, yielding to the flatteries 
or to the threats of the emperor, consented to sign a creed 
in which the contested word consubstantial was care- 
fully suppressed. Arianism was thus adopted by a council, 
of which the authority seemed paramount The world, says 
S. Jerome, groaned to find itself Arian. But, on their 
return to their dioceses, the indignant prelates everywhere 

Maya.] S. Athattasius. 49 

protested against the fraud and violence which had been 
practised against them. 

On the 4th November, 361, Constantius expired at the 
foot of Mount Taurus, and the reins of government fell 
into the hands of Julian the Apostate. About the same 
time, George, the Arian bishop of Alexandria, had been torn 
to pieces by a furious pagan mob, for having desecrated 
their temples. Athanasius did not return to Alexandria 
before the death of George. After hearing of it he emerged 
from his retirement, in August, 362, and his people enjoyed 
another such "glorious festivity" as had welcomed him 
back in 349. All Egypt seemed to assemble in the city 
which blazed with lights and rang with acclamations ; the 
air was fragrant with incense burnt in token of joy; men 
formed a choir to precede the archbishop; to hear his 
voice, to catch a glimpse of his face, even to see his 
shadow was deemed happiness. Lucius, the new Arian 
bishop, was obliged to give way ; the churches were again 
occupied by the faithful, and Athanasius signalized his 
triumph, not by violence of any sort, but by impartial 
kindness to all, by the noble labours of a peacemaker, and 
by the loving earnestness which could conquer hearts. 

A council was gathered at Alexandria to settle various 
matters, as a difference of doctrinal phraseology had 
sprung up between two parties of the orthodox, and to 
allow the bishops an opportunity of erasing the scandal of 
their subscription to the creed of Rimini. 

But the stay of Athanasius was brief. In November in 
the same year, 362, three months after his return, the new 
emperor, Julian, ordered him to leave Alexandria without 
delay. He had never, he wrote, permitted the exiles to 
return to their churches. The "mean little fellow," the 
meddling knave, the wretch who had dared to baptize 
. Greek ladies while he, Julian, was emperor, should find no 

VOL. V* 4 

50 Lives of the Saints. [Maya. 

place in all Egypt. He even proposed, wc arc told, to put 
Atlianasius to death. Again we find i^aganism leagued 
with Arianism against the true faith. 

The faithful, all in tears, surrounded the archbishop, 
who calmly said, "Let us retire for a little while ; the cloud 
will soon pass." He was pursued by his eriemies up the 
Nile. They met a boat descending the stream. They hailed 
it with the shout so familiar to Egyptian travellers on the 
great river, and asked, "Where is Athanasius?" "Not very 
far off," was the answer. The wind carried on the pursuers, 
the current carried down the j^ursued. It was Athanasius, 
who, hearing of their approach, took advantage of a bend 
in the stream, to turn, and meet, and mislead, and escape 
them. But the cloud, as Athanasius had foreseen, passed 
rapidly. In June, 363, Julian the Apostate was dead, and 
Jovian, the commander of the body guards, who had 
confessed Christianity before Julian, was hastily chosen 
emperor. Imperial edicts went forth, undoing the anti- 
Christian work of the apostate ; and Jovian, a frank straight- 
forward soldier, adopted a religious policy not only Christian, 
but unequivocally Catholic. He wrote at once to Athana- 
sius, praising his loyalty to Christ, and recalling him. 
But Athanasius had returned before he had received the 
•emperor's letter, and had assembled a council which put 
forth an important doctrinal epistle on the true doctrine of 
the nature of Jesus Christ, y athanasius brought the letter 
to Jovian at Antioch, and ws treated with distmguished 
lionour, whilst Lucius and other Arians were repulsed. 
They met him at first as he was riding out of the city. 
"We pray your majesty to h. ir us." "Who and whence 
are ye?" "Christians, sire, from Alexandria." "What do 
you want?" "We pray you, ^ ive us a bishop." "I have 
bidden your former bishop, At anasius, to be enthroned.'' 
**So please you, he has been many years under accusation 

Way 2] S. Atlianasius. 51 

and in exile." A Catholic soldier interrupted them, " May 
it please your majesty, inquire about these men ; they are 
the leavings of the vile Cappadocian George, who have laid 
waste the city and the world." Jovian spurred his horse, 
and rode into the country. Again they presented them- 
selves before him, and talked of the accusations which had 
sent Athanasius into exile. Jovian threw aside these 
accusations as of too remote a date, and said, " Do not 
talk to me about Athanasius ; I know of what he is accused, 
and how he was exiled." " So please you," they persisted, 
"give us any one but Athanasius." Jovian's patience gave . 
way, " I have made up my mind about Athanasius." " He 
speaks well enough," said the Arians incautiously; "but 
his meaning is insincere." "Enough !" said Jovian; "you 
attest the orthodoxy of his words ; his meaning is beyond 
man's scrutiny." 

Jovian died in February, 364, and Valentinian succeeded 
him in the empire of the West, but Valens, an Arian, in 
that of the East. The consequence of the change was soon 
felt. In 367 an edict of banishment came to Alexandria, 
and the prefect of Egypt prepared to expel Athanasius.- 
Athanasius secretly left his house before it was invested by 
the soldiers. A few hours later, his house was entered and 
searched in vain, from the uppermost rooms to the base- 
ment Athanasius had found a refuge in the tomb of his 
father, where he remained concealed for four months. At 
last the emperor found it best to quiet the agitation of 
Alexandria, and prevent any difficulties which might arise 
from his elder brother Valentinian's stedfast orthodoxy, by 
terminating this fifth and last dispossession of Athanasius ; 
so he was left untroubled till his death, which occurred 
on May 2nd, 373. He had sat on the throne of S. Mark 
for forty-six years, and was past seventy when he ended his 
life and labours. 

52 Lives of tlie Saints. [May* 

In conclusion, we cannot do better than quote the follow- 
ing beautiful estimate of his work and character from the 
pen of one of the most accomplished ecclesiastical historians 
of the day.^ " His glorious career ilhistrates * the incredible 
power of an orthodox faith, held with inflexible earnestness, 
especially when its champion is an able and energetic 
man.' 3 One is struck with the variety of gifts and the 
unity of aim which it exhibits. The infidel historian deemed 
him fit to rule an empire, and obviously he had to the 
fullest extent the power of dealing with men, yet he was 
publicly called for as * the Ascetic ' at his election, and in 
exile he was a model of monastic piety. If he is great as a 
theologian, and intensely given to Scripture and sacred 
studies, he is 'pre-eminently quick in seeing the right 
course, and full of practical energy in pursuing it'^ He is 
as kindly in his judgments of Liberius, and Hosius, and 
the council of Ariminum, as if he were not the bravest of 
confessors. He can make allowance for the difficulties of 
semi-Arians, and recognize their real brotherhood with 
himself. * Out of the strong comes forth sweetness.' It is 
this union of inflexibility and discretion, of firmness and 
charity, this many-sidedness as a pattern for imitation,^ 
which makes him emphatically Athanasius the Great; and 
wherever we find him, — confronting opponents, bafliing 
conspirators, biding his time in Gaul or Italy, turning his 
hour of triumph to good account for his flock, calling on 
them in the hour of deadliest peril to praise the everlasting 
mercies, burying himself in cells and dens of the earth, 
bearing honour and dishonour with the same kingliness of 
soul, uniting the fireshness of early enthusiasm with the 
settled strength of heroic manhood, writing, praying, preach- 
ing, suffering, — ^he is kindled and sustained throughout by 

' Canon Bright. Church Hist., pp. 148-x^o. * Ranke, Popes ii., 222. 

» S. Basils Ep. 152. * S. Greg. Drat. xxi. 9. 

jviay2.] 61 Ai/mnasius. 53 

one clear purpose. What lay closest to his heart was no 
formula, however authoritative — no council, however oecu- 
menic. His zeal for the consubstantiality had its root in 
"his loyalty to the consubstantial.^ He felt that in the 
Nicene dogma were involved the worship of Christ, and 
the life of Christianity. The inestimable creed which he 
•was said to have ' composed in a cave at Treves, is his 
-only in this sense, that, on the whole, it sums up his teach- 
ing ; but its hymn-like form may remind us that his main- 
tenance of dogma was a life-long act of devotion. The 
union of these two elements is the lesson of his life, as it 

• was the secret of his power ; and by virtue of it, although 
again and again it is Aihanastus contra inundum^ yet 
Athanasius is in truth tlic immortal^ and ever in the end 

.prevails. * This is the victory that overcometh the world, 

• eveji our faith.''' 

1 "Athanasius was inflamed, from his childhood, with the passion that makes 
r saints, the love of Jesus Christ. The day that he thought he saw in the words of 
Ariu-3 a blow struck at the honour of that dear Lord, he starteJ with indignation, 
and consecrated thtnceforlh, without weariness to the defence of the Incarnate 
Word, all the resources of a vast learning, and an invincible eloquence, directed by 
- a great common s^nse, and by a will of iron." Dc Broglie, I'feglise et I* Empire, 
i. 372. 

**f Athanasius against the world" was, indeed, also "Athanasius for the 
fc Church,'* 

54 Lives of tlie Saints. (May 3. 

May 3. 

S. Alexander I., Tope M, at Rome, a.d. 1x7. 

SS. TiMOTBV AND Maura, MM., in the Theba'id, circ. A.n. aSS, 

S. Genius, C, and XXX. Soldiers, MM. at Lecture ^ in France, 

The Invention or the Holy Cross at Jerusalem, a.d. 336. 

S. Juvenal, B.of Narni, in Italy, a.d. 3^6. 

S. Philip, P. at CelU, in the Nahegau, Germany, 9:h centi 

S. Au FRIED, B, 0/ Utrecht, a.d. xoo8. 


(a.d. 117.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Bede, Hrabanus, Ado, Notlcer, Usuardus;.. 
Authority :— Mention in the Catalogue of Roman Pontiffs. The Acta of 
S. Alexander are fabulous.] 

CCORDING to the Acts of S. Alexander^ 
which are not deserving of much credence, tlie- 
pope converted Hermes, prefect of Rome 
(Aug. 28th), and all his household, consisting, 
of twelve hundred souls, by healing his infirm son. Aurelian, 
the governor, hearing of this, ordered S. Alexa'nder to be 
cast into prison, where he was visited by the tribune^ 
Quirinus (March 30th), who professed his readiness to 
believe, if Alexander, laden with three chains, could transfer 
himself to the. cell where Hermes was confined. In the- 
night an angel in the form of a little child bearing a torch 
brought Alexander forth laden with his chains, and con- 
veyed him to the cell of Hermes. The conversion of 
S. Quirinus led to that of his daughters, S. Balbina (Marchc 
31st), and all the other prisoners. They received baptism 
from the hands of Evantius and Theodulus, priests im- 
prisoned with S. Alexander. Finally the pope and the^ 
two priests were thrown into a fiery furnace ; but as they 

Maya.] ^Vy. TimotJi)/ arid Maura. 55 

were unhurt, the priests were executed with tHe sword, and 
Alexander was stabbed to death in all his limbs. Relics in 
the church of S. Sabina, in Rome. 


(about A.D. 286.) 

[Greek Menaea and Menology of the Emperor Basil, modern Roman 
Martyrology. Authority : — Mention in the Menaea and Menology ; also 
the Greek Acts.] 

S. Timothy was a lector or reader of the Church in the 
Thebaid, at the time when Arianiis, the governor of Upper 
Egypt, carried on a grievous persecution of the Church, in 
which, as has been already related, S. Asclas (Jan. 23rd), 
SS. Philemon and ApoUonius (March 8th), suffered. 

Timothy had been married only twenty days to Maura. 
Arianus ordered Timothy to produce the sacred books of 
the Christians, and when he refused, he ordered red-hot 
irons to be applied to his ears, and the lids to be cut off his 
eyes, and then that he should be bound to a wheel and 
exposed to the full glare of the sun. As he remained 
inflexible, Arianus ordered his young wife Maura to use her 
persuasions with her husband, but she preferred to suffer 
with him. Then Arianus ordered her hair to be torn out 
in handfuls, and finally that both she and her husband 
should be nailed to a wall. And as they were stretched in 
this their mortal agony, before their dim eyes rose a 
glorious vision of angels beckoning to them, and pointing 
to thrones in heaven at the side of Jesus Christ, for whom 
they died. 

56 Lives of the Samts. [Maya. 


(a.d. 326?) 

[Roman Martyrology, some copies of that of Jerome (so called), and all 
other Western MartyrologiesJ 

The date and details of the history of the Invention of 
the Holy Cross is involved in great uncertainty, owing to 
the silence of two authorities, whose testimony is most 

The first testimony is that of S. Cyril of Jerusalem, born 
in 316, ordained deacon by the patriarch Macarius, about 
335, and priest in 345. It was his duty as priest to give 
lectures to the catechumens at Jerusalem. In several of 
these addresses he speaks of the wood of the true cross, 
" which is to be seen among us at the present day," and of 
which he says particles were already dispersed throughout 
the whole world. Later, in 351, when patriarch of Jeru- 
salem, S. Cyril wrote to the emperor Constantius, and 
stated distinctly that " the salvation-bringing wood of the 
cross was found in Jerusalem," in the days of his father 
Gonstantine the Great. 

The next authority is S. Ambrose, archbishop of Milan, 
who, in a funeral sermon on the emperor Theodosius, relates 
that S. Helena, the mother of Constantine, went to the 
Holy Land to visit the grave of Christ, and other holy 
places, and that, inspired by the Holy Ghost to seek the 
cross, she dug the soil of Golgotha, and found in the earth 
three crosses, and knew the cross of Christ from the others 
by its title. She also found the nails, one of which she 
converted into a bit for a horse, the other into a crown, and 
gave both^to her son, the emperor.^ 

Next S. Chrysostom (d. 407) gives his testimony. He 

» Ambros. in obit, Theod.jCd Vcnet. 17^1. iv. 2);. 

Maya] The Invention of the Cross. • 57 

says that the cross had been found lately, and that it was 
identified by being between tlie other two crosses, and by 
its title.^ He dpes not mention S. Helena. 

Rufinus, who went to Jerusalem about j^i>. 374, and 
remained there till 397, wrote his continuation and enlarge- 
ment of "Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History" in 400. He 
says that Helena found with great difficulty the place of the 
crucifixion, as a temple of Venus had been erected at 
Golgotha, to obliterate the Christian reverence for the 
spot ; but that she removed the ruins and dug, and found 
three crosses, together with the title, but this title being 
apart from the crosses, she could not tell which was that of 
the Saviour. Then, on the advice of Macarius, patriarch 
of Jerusalem, a sick person was laid on the three crosses, 
and was miraculously healed on one, and this one was 
decided to be the cross of Christ The nails she also 
found, and gave them to Constantine, who made out of 
them a horse's bit and a helmet. She also sent a portion 
of the cross to her son, the rest was preserved in a silver 
chest in Jerusalem.^ 

. Socrates, about 488, tells the story much as does Rufinus, 
adding only what- is not in the earlier historian, that 
Constantine placed the fragment of the cross given him on 
a porphyry pillar in the forum at Constantinople.^ 

Sozomen, about the same date, adds a few more details. 
The place of the sepulchre was discovered ; either, as some 
say, by means of a Jew, whose father had told him where it 
was, or, as Sozomen thought was more probable, by a 
•heavenly revelation. Not only was the true cross distin- 
guished from the other two by its healing a sick woman, but 
.also by its raising a dead man to life.^ 

Theodoret (about 450) tells the story exactly as does 

1 Cbrysost. Horn, in Joh. 8j. ' Ruflln., Hist. Eccl. i. c. 7-8. 

• Socrates, Hist. Eccl. i. c. 13. * Sozomen, Hist. Eccl. ii. c. x« 

58 Lives of the Saints. [Mayj^ 

Socrates, both he and Sozomen evidently deriving their 
information from him. 

As we get later the story is amplified, and all the details 
are given with wonderful minuteness. Indeed the story 
was worked up into the apocryphal acts of C)rriacus, a Jew,, 
who was converted by the marvels attending the discovery,, 
and was baptized. Pope Gelasius, in his decree, "De 
libris recipiendis," (a.d. 496), ^d later, in his "Corpus 
juris Canonici," (c. 3, dist. 15), rejected these Acts as 
apocryphal, under the tide, "De inventione Crucis," and 
he says they were modem, and read by Catholics. Never • 
theless these Acts forced their way into the Liturgy of the 
Church, and were publicly read.^ A monk of Auxerre, in 
the 13th cent, uttered his protest, "We cannot sufficiently 
marvel," said he, " that this writing, in which the fictitious 
history of the Invention of the Cross is described at full, 
should have been introduced into the lessons of the Church ; 
for it cannot hold its ground if the dates be considered, 

and its truth be investigated And if any one 

assert that it ought to be retained because it has long been 
recited in the Chiurch, let him know that where reason 
opposes usage, it behoves usage to give way to reason.*'^ 

It is hardly worth while following the story fiirther, and 
giving what is unmistakeably late and apocryphal. But if 
we omit these amplifications of the story, we must not leave 
out one curious fact, namely, the existence of an apocry- 
phal letter firom Pope Eusebius (309-311) to the bishops of 

* The Antipbons Tor Lauds on the Feast of the Invention of the Cross, in the- 
Treves Breviary, arc taken from the apocryphal works condemned by Pope- 
Gelasius, but this is the only liturgical relic of it that remains. 

* "A golden sentence, to be inculcated a hundred times to those to whom It 
Msms impious and intolerable, if anything of those which havd bH^en, or still are ia 
use in the Church, be proved to be fabulous, and introduced through ignorance of 
true history." Zaccarias : Diss, de Invent. Crucis, quoted by Papebroecb, Acta 
SS. Mai, T. vii. 

Maya] The Invention of the Cross. 59 

Campania and Tuscany, in which he says: "The cross 
of our Lord Jesus Christ having been lately discovered, 
whilst we hold the rudder of the Holy Roman Church, on 
May 4th, we command you all solemnly to celebrate on the 
aforesaid day the festival of the Invention of that Cross."^ 
The same is related by Anastasius the Librarian, in his 
"Lives of the Popes." In relating the life of Eusebius, 
he says, "In his time was discovered the cross of the Lord 
Jesus Christ on May 4th, and Judas was baptized, who is 
also Cyriacus.''« And so it was accepted by many of the 
mediaeval chronologists, as for instance, by Regino of 
Priim (d. 966), who says, under the year 243, "The cross 
of our Lord was found by Judas,' but, as we read in the 
Acts of the Roman Pontiffs, under Constantius, the father 
of Constantine ; and it was discovered whilst Eusebius was 
Pope of Rome." This Judas, who figures in the apocry- 
phal " Acts of Cyriacus," was the son of Simon, brother of 
S. Stephen, the first martyr, and grandson of Zacharias^ 
Judas had heard from his father Simon where the cross 
and tomb were, and he revealed it to S. Helena, and was 
' baptized under the name of Cyxiacus, by Pope Eusebius, or 
as some say, by Pope Sylvester. One has hardly patience 
to notice such fables. How could Judas have been the 
nephew of S. Stephen, when the cross was found nearly 
three hundred years after Christ, unless this said Simon was- 
the wandering, never-dying Jew ! 

In the East we find the fable of the Jew Cyriacus. 

S. Andrew of Crete (cca, 635) uses expressions which- 
seem to refer to it; but more distinct are the words of two 
anonymous writers, quoted by Gretser in his Book on the 
Cross. In these we find the whole story of how Judas was 
brought by S. Helena to confession, by throwing him inta 

'Mansius: — Coll. Concil. ii. 421. This letter is one of the forgeiics of the 
Pseudo-Isidore, or at least was inserted in his collection of decrttals. 

> Vilt. Pontilf. Ed. B:anchini, Rom, 17x8. i. 33. 

6o Lives of tlie Saints. [Maya. 

a well, and keeping him there fasting till he confessed 
where the cross was. And we are told that Judas afterwards 
became bishop of Jerusalem. This took place, we are in- 
formed, in the year 303. 

If we turn to quite another quarter, we find Moses of 
Khorene, the Armenian historian (between 450-477), say 
that "Constantine sent his mother, Helena, to Jerusalem, 
in order that she might search for the cross ; Helena found 
the saving wood together with five nails. ''^ 

It*has been seen that the earliest to mention S. Helena in 
connexion witli the discovery of the cross is S. Ambrose, 
in the year 395. The first to mention the discovery, with- 
out naming S. Helena, is S. Cyril of Jerusalem, about the 
year 350. But this difficulty meets us, which is one 
sufficiently hard to overcome. Eusebius, the Father of 
Ecclesiastical History, lived at the time when the cross is 
said to. have been found, and he mentions in his "Life of 
Constantine," the expedition of Helena to the East, but not 
one word does he say about the finding of the cross. He 
tells how S. Helena went to Palestine, to thank God for 
her son, and that she venerated the foot-prints of the 
Saviour (on the Mount of the Ascension) which were then 
shown, and that she erected two churches, one at Beth- 
lehem, the other on the mount of the Ascension. That is 
all. What makes it more extraordinary is that Eusebius 
was at Jerusalem in 335, at the dedication of the church of 
the Resurrection, which Constantine built, and has de- 
scribed the Church and the ceremonies used; but again, 
not one word about the cross. 

1 Moses or Khoren:, Hist. Arm. EU. Florival, ii. c. 87. It is not necessary to 
do than note here the medals or Constantine, engrraved by Frcker, in zGoo, 
and by Gretser, "Oe Cruce/' with a representation of the Invention of the Cross, 
They are not original, as the fact of the date on them bein^ in Arabic numerals, 
33 (> 23 1, siiificiently proves. Du Cange reproduced the medal, but omitted the 
numerals, U. viii. PI. 4. 

May 3.1 Tkc Ifivention of the Cross. 6i 

But this is not the only negative evidence against the 
cross having been found by S. Helena. There exists a 
very interesting Itinerary of the Holy Land, by a pilgrim 
of Burdigala, or Bordeaux, who visited Jerusalem and the 
great places .of pilgrimage, in the year 333. He gives an 
accurate description of all the relics shown in Jerusalem, 
the well or vault in which Solomon tormented the demons, 
the blood of Zacharias between the porch and the altar, as 
fresh as if it had only been shed yesterday ; the impression 
of the nails in the shoes of his murderers, on the marble 
floor, as distinct as if they had been made in wax; the 
pillar at which Christ was scourged ; the stone which the 
builders refused ; the palm from which the branches were 
torn off in the entry of Christ into Jerusalem ; the sycamore 
tree into which Zacchseus climbed, — but not a word about 
the cross, so that it is evident it could not have been shown 
at Jerusalem in 333. Constantine died in 337, and the 
discovery of the cross must have occurred between these 
two years. But S. Helena was in Jerusalem in 326. The 
cross certainly was exhibited in Jerusalem when S. Cyril 
was a. priest, 345.^ Thus stands the case, and it is not 
possible to come to any certain conclusion as to who found 
the cross, and at what date it was discovered. 

With respect to the nails found with it, much variety of 
tradition exists. According to. a late authority, Caspar 
Bugatus, 1587, the iron crown of Lombardy is formed of 
the nail sent to Constantine, and placed by him in his 
helmet. But there is absolutely no earlier authority than 
Bugatus for this story, and all the mediaeval writers 
who mention the crown are silent on this particular. The 
other nails that are shown as having belonged to the cross 

1 Samuel of Ani, an Armenian chronicler of the xath century, on the anthorlty 
of Armenian writers who preceded him, gives 344 as the date of the Invention of 
the Cross. 

62 Lives of t/ie Saints. [Maya. 

of Christ, and been found by S. Helena are : — (i) at Rome 
in the church of. S. Croce in Gerusalemme ; (2) at Milan, 
in the cathedral ; (3) at Clermont, in the Carmelite church, 
was one which came to be regarded as an original nail ; 
but it was only a model of that at Milan made by S. 
Charles Borromeo ; (4) at Torno, on the Lake of Como ; 
at Venice in (5) the patriarchal church of S. Mark, in (6) 
the doge's chapel, and (7) in the church of the Clares ; 
(8) another in the church of S. Antony at Toricelli ; (9) 
at Spoleto, in the church of the Redeemer; (10) at Siena ; 
(11) at CoUe, in Tuscany; (12) at Naples, in the church 
of S. Patricius; (13) at Catanea, in Sicily; (14) in the 
church of S. Laurence, in the Escurial. This, now re- 
garded as an original nail, is probably that given by S. 
Charles Borromeo to Philip II., modelled after the original 
preserved at Milan. (15) At Carpentras, in the south of 
France. This nail is miraculous, and is said to have been 
that used by Constantine as a bit for his horse. (16) At 
Cologne were four, or at least four portions, one indul- 
genced in the church of S. Mary "ad Gradus," another in 
the church of S. Mary "in Capitolo," another, an imi- 
tation, in the Carthusian monastery, a fourth in the Domini- 
can chiurch of S. Gertrude. What has become of some of 
these at the present date is unknown. (17) In the church 
at Andechs, in Bavaria; (18) another in the cathedral at 
Treves ; (19) another in the cathedral church of Toul, in 
Lorraine; (20) another at Cracow, given by the pope to 
King Ladislas IV. ; (21) another at Vienna, Many others 
are mentioned by historians in the Middle Ages, but all 
trace of them have been lost S. Helena is said to have 
cast another into the Adriatic to quell the storms which 
rendered navigation in that sea dangerous. (22) Another 
nail is still shown at Aix, given to the cathedral by 
Charlemagne, who is said to have obtained it from Con- 

MaysJ The Invention of the Cross. 63 

stantinople. (23-25) Three holy nails are preserved in the 
cathedral of Notre Dame at Paris, The reliquary to con- 
tain them was exhibited in the Great Exhibition of London 
in ;863. Some ten others existed in churches in Europe 
during the Middle Ages, but disappeared either at the 
Reformation, or in the troubles in France. There can be 
little doubt as to the origin of these holy nails. They were 
probably made in imitation of some held to be original, 
and came themselves in course of time to be regarded as 
original. S. Charles Borromeo we know had eight made 
after the nail in Milan, which he sent to different persons 
and churches, and one of these, the nail given to Philip II., 
is now regarded as an original naU, and as such is shown 
in the Escurial. 

It is possible that filings of the originals may have 
been inserted in these copies, and that this has lent colour 
to the belief that they are the identical nails found by 
S. Helena. We know that some filings .were given to the 
Empress Maria Theresa on her coronation by the bishop of 
Milan; and it is possible that the nail now shown at 
Vienna may contain these filings. 

It is impossible to enumerate all the places where relics 
of the True Cross are preserved. Much ridicule has been 
heaped on these relics, and it has been asserted repeatedly 
that there are enough such relics to build a man-of-war. 
It is sufficient to say, to refute this ignorant calumny, that 
the particles of the holy cross are often as minute as the 
. head of a pin, or as fine as a hair. 

64 Lives of the Saints. [May 4. 

May 4, 

S. Judas Quiriacus, B.M. of Jerusalem, a.o. 133. , 

S. Pelagia, Af. at Tarsus, yd cent. '^- 

S. Floriak, M, at Loreh in Snvahia, yd cent. ^ 

S. Sylvan, B,M, qf Gaxa, a.d. 311. 

S. Monica, fFi, mother of S. jiugustine, a.d. 388. 

S. Valerian, M. at Forli, gth cent* 

S. GoTHARD, B. (f Hildesheim, in Germany, a.d. 103?. 

S. Helena, F, at Troyes in France. 

(A.b. 133) 

[The Ancient Roman Martyrology attributed to S. Jerome in May r. 
Also other Maityrologies which have on this day •' the Elevation of S. 
Quirinus (Quiriacus) on the Appian way." Hrabanus and Notker say, • ' The 
passion of S. Jude or Quiriacus the bishop, to whom was revealed t^e 
wood of the Lord's cross," on April 30th.] 

UDAS was, according to Eusebius, the fifteenth 
bishop of Jerusalem. This Jude is venerated 
on the loth April, but is supposed to be 
the same Jude also called Quiriacus by the 
Martyrologists, commemorated on this day. That h^ was 
the true discoverer of the wood of the true cross is hardly 
possible; there is no evidence to support the assertion of 
Usuardus ; and that he was a martyr in the reign of Julian,, 
another statement in some martyrologies, is also wholly un- 
supported. * 'All the history of his passion we may set down as 
pure and unmixed fiction," says Le Quien,^ " nevertheless 
it is not impossible that he who is set down May ist, in 
the Martyrology of Jerome (or that which passes under his 
name) was the last bishop of the circumcision, and that he 
died a martyr." The history of his passion is that apocry- 

1 Oriens Christiana, III., p. 146, 

May 4.] S. Judas or Qtciriacus, 65 

phal " Acts of Judas or Quiriacus " already alluded to in 
the article on the Invention of the Cross. He is said to 
have been a Jew who was the nephew of S. Stephen the 
first martyr, and grandson of Zacharias. He revealed to 
S. Helena the place where the cross of Christ was hidden, 
and was converted by the miracles wrought on its dis- 
covery, and was baptized under the name of Quiriacus 
or Cyriacus, and became bishop of Jerusalem. The stqry 
is too absurd to need refutation. There was no Patriarch 
of the name of Cyriacus, and Judas died in 133; S. Helena 
did not visit Jerusalem till 326. However, his relics are to 
be found at Ancona, of which city he is patron, and 
on the old coins of the city he is represented in Greek 
pontifical habits, with his full title of Patriarch. The feast 
of the translation of these relics is celebrated at Ancona on 
August 8th. There can be little doubt that the Cyriacus 
or Quiriacus there venerated is some utterly different 
martyr of the same name, and that mediseval ignor- 
ance and local pride have combined to regard him as 
the famous Jew of the romance condemned as apocryphal 
by Pope Gelasius. According to Baronius, on what authority 
we do not know, he was a bishop of Ancona, who was 
martyred by Julian when visiting Jerusalem. A portion of 
his relics were translated by Henry I., count of Champagne, 
from the East to the town of Provins, where he built a 
church under his invocation. This translation is commemo- 
rated in the diocese of Meaux, on July 29th. A portion 
of his skull is still shown at Provins. It is hopeless to 
attempt to. unravel the confusion that has arisen from there 
being so many saints and martyrs of the same name, and 
from the popularity of the apocryphal Acts having affected 
the traditions of churches preserving such relics. 

VOL. V. 

66 Lives of the Saints. [May 4. 


(3RD CENT.) 

[Greek Menaea and Menologium, and Modern Roman Martyrology, 
Authority :— Her Greek Acts, which are utterly untrustworthy, being a 
religious romance, only possibly founded on facts.] 

Pelagia was a young girl living at Tarsus in the reign 
of Diocletian; seeing Christians martyred, she desired to 
hear somewhat of their faith, and having seen in a dream a 
bishop baptizing, she asked permission of her mother to 
visit her nurse, who she believed was a Christian. The 
mother gave her consent, and the old nurse instructed her 
in the faith and brought her to the bishop, Clino, who 
baptized her, and communicated her. She thenceforward 
refused to marry the son of Diocletian, who was desperately 
in love with her.^ The poor young man committed suicide 
when he found his suit was vain, and Diocletian, highly 
incensed, ordered Pelagia to be enclosed in a brazen bull 
over a fire. 

(a.d. 311.) 

[Greek Menology^of the Emperor Basil, Usuardiis and Roman Martyr- 
ology. Authority : — Eusebius in his account of the Martyrs of Palestine ; 
-.a perfectly trustworthy account by a contemporary.] 

Sylvanus, the venerable bishop of Gaza, was one of the 
multitude of confessors in Palestine sent to labour in the 
♦copper mines. But being too old to work, he with others 
similarly incapacitated by age, or blindness, or other 
bodily infirmities, to the number of thirty-nine, was be- 
headed in one day. 

^ As it happened, Diocletian had no son. It is, however, possible that Pelagia 
snfFered Tor having refused to marry the son of some prefect or pro-consul, and that 
the ignorance of the writer may have transformed him into the son of the 


May 4.1 61 MoilUa. 6*J 

(a.d. 388.) 

[All Monastic Kalendars, and ixJodem Roman Martyrology. Authorityir 
-—The Confessions of her son, S. Augustine. J 

S. Monica was bom in the year 332, in Africa, of a 
•Christian family, and was educated by a relative, perhaps 
^n aunt, with a strictness in a degree advantageous, in 
■a degree dangerous to a young girl. This lady forbade 
the young Monica to take a drop of water except at 
meal times, and the reason given by this prim old maid 
was, "If you get into the habit of drinking water now, 
when you are married and have the keys of the cellar, you 
will tipple wine." 

What her governess dreaded actually took place before 
Monica was married, for she was sent by her father with the 
pitcher to the cellar, every day, to draw the wine for table, and 
she got into the habit of sipping from the pitcher before 
she brought it up to the dining hall, and as the habit grew 
upon her, so did she enlarge the amount she drank. She 
was fortunately brought to see the danger of the course she 
was entering upon before the habit had become inveterate, 
by the retort of a slave whom she was reprimanding, and 
who cast her tippling in her teeth. Monica was so ashamed 
of her failing being known, and commented on by the 
servants, that she corrected it from that day. Soon after she 
was baptized, and from her baptism lived an edifying life. 

She was married young to Patricius, a gentleman of 
Tagaste, a pagan, but honourable and upright His great 
failing was a hot and hasty temper, from which Monica 
endured much suffering, though he never struck her. By 
him she had two sons, Augustine and Navigius, and though 
she laboured to instil Christian truth into their hearts, yet 
she was unable to obtain their baptism, and Augustine 

68 Lives of tJie Samts. [Ma> ^^ 

leaned rather to his father's example than to that of his 
mother. As Patricias grew older his conduct softened 
towards the patient wife, who never answered his sharp 
words nor resented his unkind actions ; and won by her 
sweetness, he allowed himself to be instructed in the 
truths of the faith, and to be baptized. A year after he 
died. It is said that when Monica heard other wives; 
complaining of their husbands' ill-humour or neglect, she: 
said, "Who are to blame? Is it not we and our sharp 
tongues ?" Some matrons, moved by her success in securing 
the affection and taming the irritability of her husband, 
adopted her method, and, we need hardly add, found that 
it led to the happiest results. 

Monica was wont daily to assist at mass, and her 
reverence was so great, that she never turned her back on 
the holy altar. 

Patricius died in 371, when Augustine was aged seven* 
teen. This, her best loved son, was then at Carthage 
studying. Llonica learned to her grief that he had been 
seduced by the doctrine of the Manichees, a sect heathen 
rather than Christian, which acknowledged two principles 
in mutual war, the good the source of spirit, the bad the 
origin of matter. This heresy subsisted through the Middle 
Ages, and its adherents received the names of Albigenses, 
and Paulicians, and Lollards. It still survives in some of 
the coarser sects of Protestantism. 

This was great grief to Monica. There was nothing she 
could do for her dear son but pray for him, and this she 
did incessantly. Her tears and entreaties did not move 
him, and for a while he lived in a separate house. It was- 
too painful for her to hear his arguments, and see the 
gradual deterioration of his noble character under the in-^ 
fluence of this pernicious heresy, and he, on his side^ 
showed impatience of his mother's advice. 

3VIay4.] S. Mo7tic<t. 69 

And so years passed, Augustine involved in false doc- 
trine, and sinking into a life of dissolute morals. Monica 
prayed on. She urged some bishops to discuss his errors 
with Augustine, but the son, with the hot-headed im- 
petuosity of youth, refused to listen to them. "Wait," said 
•one old bishop to Monica; "your son's heart is not now 
"disposed to receive the truth. Wait the Lord's good time." 
And when the poor woman seemed sinking with despair, 
he spoke to her those blessed words which have been 
repeated again and again as ages have passed, and mothers 
have wept, and sons have been prodigal, " Go on praying ; 
the child of so many tears cannot perish J* She was com- 
forted, and prayed on. 

Arrived at the age of twenty-nine, Augustine resolved to 
-go to Rome and teach rhetoric there. His mother, dread- 
ing to lose sight of him, endeavoured to dissuade him from 
his journey. He pretended to yield to her entreaties, only 
that he might escape her importunities, and whilst she was 
spending the night in prayer in a chapel dedicated to S. 
Cyprian, he embarked and set sail for Italy. 

"I deceived my mother," says Augustine in his Con- 
fessions, " by a lie, whilst she was weeping and praying for 
me. O, my God! what did she ask of Thee, but that 
Thou wouldst stay me from sailing? But Thy purposes 
were not as were hers. Thou didst refuse her that which 
r^he then demanded so earnestly, to give her in the end 
that which she had all along prayed for." 

On the morrow, Monica found her son gone ; she rushed 
to the shore, and the white sail on the dark blue horizon of 
.«ea was the only trace left of him. She returned to prayer 

Shortly after his arrival at Rome, Augustine fell danger- 
K>usly ill, and he attributed his recovery to the prayers of 
his mother. 

70 Lives of the Saints. [May 4.. 

In 384 he left Rome to teach rhetoric at Milan. There 
he fell in with S. Ambrose, who quickly dispersed the- 
errors of Manicheism into which he had fallen; but. 
Augustine, though dissatisfied with the dualism which had 
captivated his opening understanding, and had seemed to- 
him to solve the mystery of the world's creation and man's 
existence, was not convinced of the truth of Christianity- 
He had formed an union with a woman of bad character,, 
who bore him a son, and this union restrained him from; 
giving his heart to the truth. 

Monica's aching heart could bear absence no more.. 
She took ship and came to Italy, and to Milan, seeking her 
dear erring son; and now, in S. Ambrose, she found a 
teacher who refreshed her weary soul, and encouraged her 
to perseverance. 

She was growing old, the silver was in her hair, lines- 
were traced by sorrow on her brow. Years of tears and. 
prayer and hope deferred had sweetened that face, once 
fair as an opening rose, into a spiritual beauty, not of this 

, Daily was she now seen in the basilica at Milan kneeling 
at mass, or bringing her offerings to the poor. At first, 
following the African custom, she brought an oblation of 
bread and wine to the tombs of the saints, thence to be 
distributed among the poor, but finding that this had been- 
forbidden by S. Ambrose, she relinquished the custom. 
At Tagaste and at Rome it was usual to fast on the Sabbath* 
(Saturday), but not at Milan. She consulted S. Ambrose, 
who gave her the wise advice, "When I am here in Milaii" 
I fast not on the Sabbath, but when I am in Rome I fast 
on that day. Do the same. Always follow the custom of' 
the Church where you are." 

At length what the holy mother had so long wished for 
was accomplished, and God was about to answer all her 

May 4.] S. Mottica. 71 

prayers in good measure, pressed down, and running over. 
All their fulfilment she was not to see, but she was suffered 
to behold the baptism of her son Augustine and his boy 
Alypius, on the same day, at Easter, 387. Then she felt 
that her work was accomplished, and she yearned for home, 
' — first for the home where she had been as a little girl, 
playing under the date palm, under the eye of the good yet 
severe governess, who would not let her taste a drop of 
water, though she was thirsty, because it was not meal time ; 
the home where she had spent happy years with her hus- 
band Patricius, who, if he had been rough and passionate, 
yet had held her heart fast for many years ; the little church 
where she had wept and prayed day after day and year 
after year ; she must return and give thanks there. Who 
can describe the many memories bound up with a longing 
to re-visit thesj scenes, which drew Monica back towards 
Africa, now that the object of her life was won? But next 
there was a longing for another and better home, one 
eternal in the heavens, where she would meet again her 
* father and her mother, her husband, and perhaps the little 
daughter who we hear was born to her, and of whom we 
hear no more, and whom we may therefore conclude died 
early. But all these longings sprang from one source, a 
desire for rest after her long* besieging of heaven's doors. 
The gate had been unclosed, and mercy had shot down, 
and she yearned to enter in and rest in the presence of the 
Lord of all grace. 

So she persuaded Augustine and Navigius his brother to 
return with her to Ostia. Th^ bade farewell to stately 
Milan with the fire-fly haunted marshes surrounding it, 
and made for Ostia, the seaport at the mouth of the 
Tiber. It was at Ostia that occmred the memorable even- 
ing conversation which Augustine has described for us, 
and which a modem painter has sought to portray on 

72 Lives of the Saints. tMay4. 

canvas ; but which only the heart of a mother and a son 
can fully realise. 

" She and i were standing at a window," says Augustine, 
"and it overlooked the garden of the house in which we 
were lodging. We were at Ostia Tiberina, far away from 
the crowd, after a long and tedious journey, preparing for 
our voyage. And there we began sweetly to talk together 
alone, and forgetting the past, to search into present truth. 
What Thou art, O God ! and what is in store in eternal 
life for the saints, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
neither hath entered into the heart of man to conceive. 
Thus we drank with our hearts from Thy fountain above, 
the fount of life which is with Thee." 

Augustine in his Confessions tells us at full all they 
talked about, at the window, that last memorable evening. 
He did not know then that it was the last he was thus to 
spend with her. But in after yfears the whole scene rose 
up before him, the evening light playing on the inspired 
face and silvery hair of his mother, the vine leaves flutter- 
ing around the window in the cool sea breeze, the green 
glow on the horizon, where the sun had gone down, looking 
like the plains of Paradise, and the mother speaking of 
heaven and God, and her desire to be at rest 

She fell ill and died at Ostia, lovingly nursed by Augus- 
tine, Navigius, and the boy Alypius. She was asked if she 
wished to be buried in her own country ; but no, she said, 
she was content to lie at Ostia. "Only," she added, "do 
not, I pray you, forget to remember me at the altar of 
God 1" She died in the fifty-sixth year of her age, in the 
year 387. "If anyone thinks it wrong that I wept so 
bitterly for my mother part of one hour, for a mother who 
wept through many years for me that I might live to Thee, 
O Lord, let him not despise me for it; but rather let him 
weep for my sins committed against Thee 1" 

May 4.] 6". Gotliard. 73 

There is uncertainty about her relics, which are claimed 
by two places, Rome and Arouaise. Martin V. translated 
the body from Ostia to Rome in 1430, arid it was placed 
in the church of S. Augustine; but Walter, a canon of 
Arouaise, relates that he translated the relics of S. Monica, 
^'whom the Latins call Prinia," to Arouaise in 1162. 
Prima is a very bad translation of the name Monica, and 
in all probability Walter of Arouaise was mistaken, though 
the Bollandists give credence to his account.' 


(a.d. 1038.) 

[German Kalendars. M^y 5th, at Hildesheim, the day of his deposition. 
May 4th, of his death and translation. Also Prague, and Liege, and Bene- 
dictine Martyrologies. Authority : — A life by his disciple Wulfhere.] 

S. GoTHARD was bom in Bavaria, and was first prior 
and then abbot of Altaich, where he kept such good dis- 
cipline that he was chosen to restore the discipline in other 
abbeys which had become relaxed. He was sent for this 
purpose to Tegernsee, in the diocese of Freising, to 
Kremsmiinster, and elsewhere. In 102 1 he was appointed 
by S. Henry, the emperor, to the see of Hildesheim. He 
died on the 4th May, 1038, and was canonized by Inno- 
cent II. in the year 1131. His life is singularly deficient 
in incident^ awakening interest. 

74 Lives of the Saints. cMay^. 

May 5. 

S. Maximus, B. <if Jerusalem, circ. a.d. 358. 

S. NiCETius, B.of Fienne, in Gaul, 4th ceni, 

S. Gerontius, B. of Milan, $th cent, 

S. Hilary, B. ij Jrles, a.d. 449. 

S. Sacerdos, B. of Limoges, circ, a.d. 530. 

S. MAUjtONTiUff, jib. of Breuil, a.d. *jot. 

S. AvERTiNB, D.C' at Finxay, near Tours, a.d. 1189. 

S. Angelus, P.m. at Alicate, in Sicily^ a.d. 1220. 

S. Pius v.. Pope of Rome, a.d. 1572. 


(circ. A.D. 358.) 

{Roman Martyrology. Authorities : — Sozomen, Theodoret, and men- 
tion by S. Jerome.] 

[AXIMUS, bishop of Jerusalem, suflfered in the 
persecution of Maximian. One of his eyes was 
plucked out, and a leg was lamed by the appli- 
cation of red hot irons to the sinews. In the 
troubles that broke out in the East, consequent to the 
broaching of heresy by Arius, Maximus was unfortu- 
nately inveigled by the partisans of Eusebius of Csesarea and 
Eusebius of Nicomedia into signing the condemnation of S. 
Athanasius j but directly he discovered the rights of the case, 
he repented and refused to attend the Arian synods, and in 
the council held at Jerusalem in 349 was the first to sign 
the recognition of S. Athanasius. 

MayM kS*. Hilary. 75 

(a.d. 449.) 

[Roman Martyrology. The ancient one attributed to S. Jerome, Hra^ 

b.inus and Usuardus, Ado and Notker. Authority : — A life written by a 

contemporary, either S. Honoratus, Bishop of Marseilles, or by Ravennus, 

his successor in the see, and mention in the letters of S. Leo the Great 

andhis own writings.] 

S. Hilary was born of noble parents in the year 401^ 
and was a relative of S. Honoratus of Aries, who was then 
in the island of Lerins, abbot of the community he had 
there founded. Honoratus left his retirement to seek his 
kinsman Hilary, and draw him to embrace the same life, 
but all his persuasion was at first in vain. " What floods of 
tears," says S. Hilary, "did this true friend shed to soften 
my hard heart? How often did he embrace me with the 
most tender and compassionate affection, to obtain of me a. 
resolve that I would consider the salvation of my soul. 
Yet, by an unhappy victory, I resisted his persuasion." 
" Well, then," said Honoratus, " I will obtain of God what 
you will not now grant to me." And he left him, that in. 
his island sanctuary he might pray for his re ation. Three 
days after, S. Hilary had changed his mind, and went to- 
Lerins to place himself under the discipline of Honoratus. 
" On one side," he says, " I thought I saw God calling me, 
on the other the world seducing me with its charms and 
pleasures. How often did I embrace and reject, will and 
not will the same thing. But in the end Jesus Christ 
triumphed in me." 

Aspiring to perfection, he sold all his estates to his 
brother, and distributed the money among the poor. 

In 426 S. Honoratus was chosen to the archbishopric of 
Aries, and S. Hilary followed him to the city ; but soon the 
longing came upon him to return to the islet of Lerins, and 

76 Lives of the Saints. [May 5. 

he left Aries and rejoined the monastic community there. 
But God, who had other designs for him, did not suffer 
him to enjoy long his beloved retirement S. Honoratus 
recalled Hilary to Aries, and he remained with the arch- 
bishop till his death, which took place in 428 or 429. 
Then he set out on his return to the peaceful isle of Lerins. 
But the citizens of Aries, apprized of his departure, sent 
messengers after him, who overtook him, brought him 
back, and he was forthwith elected, confirmed, and conse- 
crated archbishop, though only twenty-nine years of age.-^ 

He presided in the council of Riez in 439, in the first 
council of Orange in 441, in the council of Vaison in 442, 
and in the second council of Aries in 443. 

His impetuous character precipitated him into actions 
of more than questionable canonicity, on account of which 
he fell into disfavour with S. Leo the Great, pope of Rome 
(April nth). He was accustomed to make visitations, 
accompanied by his friend, S. Germain of Auxerre, not 
improbably beyond the doubtful or undefined limits of his. 
metropolitan power. During one of these visitations, 
charges of disqualification for the episcopal office were 
exhibited against Celidonius, bishop, according to some 
accounts, of Besangon. Hilary hastily summoned a council 
of bishops, and pronounced sentence of deposition 
against him* On the intelligence that Celidonius had gone 
to Rome to appeal against this decree, Hilary set forth, it 
is said, on foot, crossed the Alps, and travelled without 
horse or sumpter-mule to the Great City. He presented 
himself before Leo, and with respectful earnestness en- 
treated him not to infringe the ancient usages of the Gallic 
Churches. Leo proceeded to annul the sentence of Hilary 

'He was designated as bishop by his predecessor. The messengers, accom- 
panied by soldiers, sent to bring him back did not know him. A dove settled on 
liis head, and they recognized Inm by tliat sign. 

Mayr.] S. Hilary. 7jr 

and to restore Celidonius to his bishopric. ^ He summoned 
Hilary to rebut the evidence adduced by Celidonius, to- 
disprove the justice of his condemnation. So haughty was. 
the language of Hilary, " that," says the writer of his life, 
"no layman would dare to utter, no ecclesiastic would 
endure to hear such words." He inflexibly resisted the 
authority of the pope, confronting him with the bold asser- 
tion of his own unbounded metropolitan power. Hilary 
thought his life in danger, or he feared he should be seized 
and compelled to communicate with the deposed Celi- 
donius. He stole out of Rome, and though it was the 
depth of winter, found his way back to Aries! The 
accounts of S. Hilary, hitherto reconcilable, now diverge 
into strange contradiction. The author of his life repre- 
sents him as having made overtures of reconciliation ta 
Leo, as wasting himself out with toils, austerities, and 
devotions, and dying before he had completed his forty-first 
year. He died, visited by visions of glory, in ecstatic 
peace ; his splendid funeral was honoured by the tears of 
the whole city ; the very Jews were clamorous in their 
sorrow for the beneficent prelate. 

The counter-statement fills up the interval before the 
death of Hilary with other important events. Leo addresses 
a letter to the bishops of the province of Vienne, denounc-^ 
ing the impious resistance of Hilary to the- authority of S. 
Peter, and releasing them from all allegiance to the see of 
Aries. For hardly had the affair of Celidonius been de- 
cided by the see of Rome than a new charge of breach of 
canonical discipline was brought against Hilary. The 
bishop Projectus complained that, while he was afflicted 
with illness, Hilary, to whose province he did not belong, 
had consecrated another bishop in his place, and this in 
such haste that he had respected none of the canonical 
forms of election ; he had awaited neither the suffrage of 

yS Lives of the Saints. [May^. 

the citizens, the testimonials of the more distinguished, nor 
the election of the clergy. In this, and in other instances 
of irregular ordinations, Hilary had called in the military 
power, and tumultuously interfered in the aflfairs of many 
churches. It is significantly suggested that on every occa- 
sion Hilary had been prodigal of the last and most awful 
power possessed by the Church, that of excommunication. 
But we have only the statement of his enemies, and we do 
not know how highly-coloured the charges were, and how 
some of his acts may have been falsified. Hilary was 
commanded by S. Leo to confine himself to his own 
diocese, was deprived of the authority he claimed over the 
province of Vienne, and forbidden to be present at any 
future ordination. At the avowed instance of Leo, also, 
the Emperor Valentinian promulgated an imperial edict, 
denouncing the contumacy of Hilary against the primacy 
of the apostolic throne. He and all the bishops were 
warned to observe this perpetual edict, which solemnly 
enacted that nothing should be done in Gaul, contrary to 
ancient usage, without the authority of the bishop of the 
Eternal City. 

(a.d. 701.) 

[Greven and Molanus in their additions to Usuardus, the Belgian and 
Galilean and Benedictine Martyrologies. Authority : — An account of 
him in the life of S. Rictrudis, his mother, by Hucbald, abbot of Elnone. 
See May 12th. ] 

Adalbald, and his saintly wife Rictrudis, were the 
parents of Maurontius. His father was murdered in 
P^rigord, and is numbered among the blessed.^ His 

^yol. ii., p.4x. 

May^.j S. Maurontius. 79 

sisters Clotsendis (June 30th), Eusebia (March i6th), and 
Adalsendis (Dec 24th), are numbered among the saints. 
Maurontius was baptized by S. Richarius (Riquier) when 
on a visit to Adalbald and Rictrudis. When the saintly- 
priest was mounted on his horse at the door, and about to 
leave, Rictrudis brought the babe out, and Richarius, 
stooping in his saddle, took the little one in his arms to 
kiss it. But something frightened the horse, which reared 
and plunged, and the babe fell into the grass. Provi- 
dentially it was unhurt, and when the mother rushed to 
pick it up, the child crowed and extended its arms to her. 
Maurontius spent his youth at court, but at last resolved 
to quit the world like his mother and his sisters, and live 
to God alone in the peaceful cloister. He visited Mar- 
chiennes and informed his mother of his intention. She 
was uneasy, fearing lest his young mind should change, 
and then sigh for the life in the world he had so rashly 
deserted. She consulted S. Amandus, and he bade her 
and the young man hear mass, and pray God to guide 
them aright in choosing a course of life for Maurontius. 
Then he vested himself, and the tapers were lit by the 
youth, who served him as he said mass. Now all three 
lifted up their prayer to God that He would show if He 
had chosen the boy, and during the sacrifice through the 
little window came a summer bee, flying down the ray of 
light that penetrated into the chapel, and the bee flew 
thruming thrice round the head of Maurontius. Then 
Amandus took it for a sign, and he set apart the youth for 
the religious life. But, though ordained, he must needs 
retiun to the palace, and there, as high honour, to him was 
given to hold the regal orb of gold, and afterwards King 
Thierri gave him his signet and constituted him his secre- 

Maurontius built the abbey of Breuil on his own pro- . 

8o Lives of the Saints. [May 


perty at the confines of Artois and Flanders, on the river 
Lys. There he received S. Amatus when driven from his 
see of Sens by the king. He died when on a visit to 
Marchiennes, where his sister Clotsendis was abbess after 
her mother's death, and over which Maurontius exercised 
supervision, according to dying request of Rictrudis. 

His relics at Douai, of which city he is patron; at 
Margival, near Soissons, is a fountain dedicated to him ; 
an object of pilgrimage, at Levergies, is a small reHc, and 
a hill once crowned by a statue of him destroyed at the 
revolution, but still the object of pilgrimage. 

S. PIUS v., POPE. 
(a.d. 1572.) 

[Roman Martyrology, beatified by Clement X. , in 1672 ; canonized by 
Clement XI., in 1712. Authorities : — A life by Jerome Catena, in Italian ; 
another in Latin by Antonio Gabutio.] 

MicHELE Ghisliere, afterwards Pius V., was of humble 
extraction; he was born at Bosco, near Alexandria, in 
1504, and entered a convent of Dominicans at the age of 
fourteen. Here he resigned himself, body and spirit, to 
the devotion and monastic poverty enjoined by his order. 
Of the alms he gathered, he did not retain so much for 
himself as would have bought him a cloak for the winter. 
Though confessor to the governor of Milan, he always 
travelled on foot with his wallet on his back. When he 
taught, his instructions were given with zeal and precision ; 
when, as prior, it was his office to administer the affairs of 
a monastery, he did this with the utmost rigour and 
frugality. More than one house was freed from debt by his 
careful management The formation of his character was 
effected during those years when the strife between Protes- 

Mays] S. Plus V. Si 

tant innovation and the ancient doctrine of the Church had 
extended into Italy. He was early invested with the 
office of Inquisitor, and was called on to perform his duties 
in places of peculiar danger, as Como and Bergamo. In 
these cities an intercourse with the Swiss and Germans was 
not to be avoided ; he was also appointed to the Valteline, 
which, as belonging to the Grisons, was in like manner 
infested by heretics. In this employment he displayed 
resolution and enthusiasm. On entering the city of Como, 
he was sometimes received with volleys of stones ; to save 
his life he was frequently compelled to steal away like an 
outlaw, and conceal himself by night in the huts of the 
peasantry; but he suffered no personal danger to deter 
him from his purposes. On one occasion the Count della 
, Trinita threatened to have him thrown into a well. "As 
to that, it shall be as God pleases," was the Dominican's 
reply. Moreover, he took eager part in the contest of 
intellectual and political powers then existing in Italy ; and 
as the side to which he attached himself was victorious, he 
advanced in importance. 

Having been appointed commissary of the Inquisition in 
Rome, he was soon marked by Paul IV., who declared Fra 
Michele an eminent servant of God, and worthy of higher 
honours. He promoted him to the bishopric of Nepi, and, 
by way of placing " a chain round his foot," as Michele 
himself tells us, " that he might not creep back again to the 
repose of his cloister," in 1577 he nominated him cardinal. 
In this new dignity Ghisliere continued, as ever, poor, 
austere, and unpretending. He told his household that 
they must fancy themselves living in a monastery ; for him- 
self, his sole interest was still centred in devotional exer- 
cises and the business of the Inquisition. Pope Paul IV. 
died in 1559, and was succeeded by Pius IV., who trans- 
lated Cardinal Ghisliere to the bishopric of Mondovi, in Pied- 

VOL. v. 6 

82 Lives of the Saints. [Mayj. 

mont, a church reduced by the wars to a deplorable condition. 
The saint hastened to his new flock ; and by his zeal and 
energy re-established peace, reformed abuses, and repaired 
the material devastations of war, so far as lay in his power. 

His strict sense of what was right made him oppose 
the appointment of Ferdinand of Medicis, a boy of only 
thirteen years, to the dignity of cardmal, by Pius IV. 

On the death of that pope, December 9th, 1565, at the 
instigation of S. Charles Borromeo, Michele Ghisliere was 
elected to fill the vacant chair of S. Peter. He maintained 
all the monastic severity of his life even when pope ; his 
fasts were kept with the same rigour and punctuality ; he 
permitted himself no garment of finer texture than his 
wont. Yet he was careful that his private devotions should 
offer no impediment to his public duties, and, though 
rising with the first light of day, he would not indulge him- 
self with the customary afternoon nap. But the cares and 
business of the papacy were a grievance to him. He 
complained that they impeded the progress of his soul 
towards salvation and the joys of paradise. " But for the 
support of prayer, the weight of this burden would be 
more than I could endure." 

The warmth of his devotion often brought tears to his 
eyes, and he constantly arose from his knees with the 
assurance that his prayers had received fiilfilment. When 
the people beheld him in processions, barefoot, and with 
uncovered head, his face beaming with piety, and his long 
white beard sweeping his breast, they were excited to 
enthusiastic reverence ; they believed that so pious a pope 
had never before existed, and stories were current among 
them of his having converted Protestants by the mere 
aspect of his countenance. Pius was, moreover, kind 
and affable 5 his manner towards his old servants was 
extremely cordial. Humble, resigned, and child-like as he 

was, yet his character had its narrow, harsh, and almost 
forbidding side. He was a complete contrast to that other 
great pope venerated in the same month of May, Gregory 
VII. Their minds were cast in wholly different moulds. 
Gregory was a man of great intellectual power, and a 
commanding authority, Pius was narrow in mind, and his 
virtues, not his intellectual superiority, gave him influence. 
Yet both were actuated by the same principle, each was a? 
tigid in following with unswerving pertinacity the track 
marked out by conscience. Pius V. could not endure contra- 
diction, and was impatient of views not coincident with his 
own. He did not indeed permit himself to act on his first 
impressions, as regarded individuals, and those with whom 
he came in contact; but having once made up his mind 
about any man, for good or evil, nothing could afterwards 
shake his opinion.^ Never would he mitigate a penal 
sentence; this was constantly remarked of him; rather 
would he express his disapproval of the lenity of a punish- 
ment decreed. But he never resented a wrong done to 
himself personally. A young man had caricatured him; 
was caught and brought before him. "Go," said the 
pontiff, " and consider yourself fortunate. Had you turned 
the pope into ridicule, and not Michele Ghislieri, you would 
have fared otherwise." His predecessor, Pius IV., had not 
cordially maintained the Inquisition. Soranzo said of that 
pontiff, " It is well known that he dislikes the great severity 
with which the Inquisitors handle those accused. He 
makes it known that it would better please him were they 
to proceed with gentleness rather than harshness ;" it was 
the reverse with Pius V. If there were any town wherein 
few punishments werd inflicted, he ascribed the fact solely 

^ Informatione di Pio V, — "It is 'more difficult to free liim from a bad im- 
l>re8sion than a good one; especially with regard to people of whom he knews but 

84 Lives of the Saints. [May,-. 

to the negligence of the officials. He was not satisfied to 
see the Inquisition visiting offences of recent date, but 
caused it to enquire into such as were of ten or twenty 
years standing.^ The severity with which he insisted on 
the maintenance of Church discipline is characteristia 
"We forbid," says he, in one of his bulls, "that any 
physician, attending a patient confined to his bed, should 
visit him longer than three days, without receiving a 
certificate that the sick man has confessed his sins anew."^ 
A second bull sets forth the punishments for violation of 
the Sunday, and for blasphemy. There were fines for the 
rich; but "for the common man, who cannot pay, he shall 
stand before the church door, for one whole day, with his 
hands tied behind his back, for the first offence ; for the 
second, he shall be whipped through the city; but his 
tongue; for the third, shall be bored through, and he shall 
be sent to the galleys." But if this severity was calculated 
to defeat its object, there can be no question as to the 
earnestness and religious zeal of the man who exercised 
it. That men cannot be made Christians and virtuous 
by compulsion he failed to see, but it was his love of 
Christianity and virtue that made him attempt it. He 
drove all the courtesans out of Rome, and when he was 
remonstrated with, " If they return, I leave the city," was 
his reply. 

The bull "In Coena Domini" had been often com- 
plained of by the princes of Europe, and Pius IV. had 
openly stated that the policy of his predecessors had lost 
several nations to the Church. But Pius V. proclaimed 
the obnoxious bull anew, and even rendered it more 

I When he sent forces to the aid of the French Catholics, he enjoined their leader. 
Count Santafiore, to " take no Huguenot prisoners, but instantly to kill everyone 
that should fall into his hands." And Catena says, ** He complained of the Count 
for not having obeyed his command." 

2 Supra gregem Dominicum : BuU iv. ii., p. 3x8. 

May^.J 6*. PmS V. 85 

onerous, by adding special clauses of his own. Even 
Philip of Spain, though usually so devout, was once 
moved to warn the pontiff to beware of driving princes 
to desperation. Pius V. felt this rebuke deeply. He was 
sometimes most unhappy in his high station, and declared 
himself " weary of living." He complained that from 
having acted without respect of persons he had made him 
enemies, and that he had never been free from vex- 
ations and persecutions since he had ascended the papal 

But though Pius V. could no more give satisfaction to 
the whole world than other men, it is certain that his 
upright character and sincerity of purpose did exercise 
incalculable influence over his contemporaries, to the 
general advantage of the Church. The reformation of 
the papal court, so often promised, was at length com- 
menced in fact and reality. The expenditure of the 
household was greatly reduced. Pius V. required little 
for his own wants, and was accustomed to say, that "he 
who would govern others must begin by ruling himself." 
For such of his servants as had served him truly, he 
provided well ; but his dependents generally were held 
within closer limits tlian had ever been known under 
any other pope. He made his nephew, Bonelli, cardinal, 
only because he was told this was expedient to his main- 
taining a more confidential intercourse with the temporal 
princes. He would, however, confer on him only a very 
moderate endowment; and when the new cardinal once 
invited his father to Rome, Pius commanded that he should 
instantly quit the city. The rest of his relations he wouM 
never raise above the middle station ; and woe to that one 
among them whom he detected in any offence, for he was 
driven without mercy from the pontiffs presence. H6 
proceeded zealously to the removal of abuses. His 

86 Lives of tlie Saints. m^Y%^ 

auditor-general was commanded to proceed against all 
bishops and archbishops who should neglect to reside in 
their diocese, and to report the refractory to himself, in 
order to their instant deposition. He commanded both 
monks and nuns to remain in the strictest seclusion. The 
Orders complained that he enforced on them rules of more 
stringent severity than those to which they had bound 
themselves. Net content with earnestly enjoining on all 
magistrates a strict attention to their duties, he held him-^ 
self a public session with the cardinals, on the last 
Wednesday in every month, when any person, who might 
consider himself aggrieved by the ordinary tribunals, was. 
at liberty to appeal to him. 

He visited the hospitals in Rome, and gave muni- 
ficently towards their support. One of his kindest and 
most beneficial charities was a dowry he gave yearly to a 
certain number of poor girls. At a time of great famine 
he imported com at his own expense from Sicily and 
France, part of which he sold at a low rate, and the rest 
he distributed freely to the most poor. 

Finding that the poor suffered much from being driven 
to borrow of the Jews at an exorbitant interest, and that 
they fell into debt, from which they were unable to extricate 
themselves, he encouraged the savings-banks instituted by 
Paul III. in 1559. His troops scoured the country and 
put down the brigandage which had become almost as 
great and recognized an institution as in the Abruzzi at the 
present day. The chief of the bandits, Mariana d'Ascoli, 
however, escaped all pursuit. A peasant offered to deliver 
him up to the pope. " He is intimate with me, and I can 
take advantage of the trust he reposes in me to betray 
him.*^ "Never, never, so help me God!" exclaimed the 
pontifi*. ** Trust and friendship must for ever be held 
sacred." When Mariana heard that the pope had refused 

May^] 6*. Pius V. 87 

to take this advantage, he withdrew from the pontifical 
states, and never appeared in them again. 

The pope obtained great power in all the Catholic 
kingdoms and states ; and he used it incessantly for the 
purpose of combining their rulers against the advance of 
Protestantism. The miserable jealousy of France and 
Spain had principally facilitated the spread of heresy in 
Germany, France, and the Low Countries ; the rivalry of 
Charles V. and Francis I. had occupied the attention and 
arms of these great sovereigns, and had diverted their 
energies from the suppression of the religious revolt. 

Pius V. laboured indefatigably to remedy, as far as 
was possible, the disastrous consequences of this policy. 
France involved in civil wars, had either renounced her 
former hostility to Spain, or was unable to give it effect. 
Philip II. of Spain was devoted to the pope, and enforced 
his bulls. The Inquisition was allowed in Spain to execute 
its judgment with extreme rigour, and to strike even the 
archbishop of Toledo, and bring him to the stake. One 
auto-da-fe followed another, till every germ of heresy was 
extirpated. Duke Cosmo of Florence gave up to the pope^ 
without hesitation, whomsoever the Inquisition had con- 
demned, and Casnesecchi, though connected with the 
reigning house, perished in the flames. Cosmo was 
entirely devoted to the pope; he assisted him in all his 
enterprises, and did not hesitate to admit all his spiritual 
claims. Pius was moved by this subservience to gratify 
the ambition of Cosmo, by crowning him grand duke of 

Not altogether so friendly were the terms on which the 
pope stood with the Venetians. He nevertheless took 
great pains to avoid a rupture with them. " The republic " 
he declared to be " firmly seated in the faith, ever had she 
maintained herself most Catholic, she alone had been 

88 Lives of the Saiiits. [May^ 

exempt from the incursions of barbarians, the honours of 
Italy repose on her head." The Venetians, also, con- 
ceded more to him than they had ever done to any other 
pontiE The unhappy Guido Zanetti of Fario, whose 
reh'gious opinions had become suspected, they resigned 
into his hands, a thing never before recorded in their 
annals. The clergy of their city was brought into strict 
discipline. The churches of Verona became models of 
order. Milan, under the care of S. Charles Borromeo, was 
universally renowned for its piety and regularity. 

In England a great rising of the Catholics had taken 
place in the north, which had been put down and punished 
with sanguinary cruelty. Mary, Queen of Scots, had 
placed herself in the hands of Elizabeth, who, instigated 
by her jealousy, treated her as a prisoner. 

Pius V. thought himself called upon to interfere. He 
hoped, by an open exercise of his authority, to unite France 
and Spain in a crusade against England. On the 28th 
February, 1570, he suddenly, that there might be no re- 
monstrance, drew up a bull, by which he declared Eliza- 
beth to be cut off, as a minister of iniquity, from the 
communion of the faithful. He released her subjects from 
their allegiance, and he forbade them, under pain of 
incurring the same sentence as herself, to recognize her 
any longer as their sovereign. . At the same time, ignorant 
of the completeness of the collapse of the insurrection in 
England, he wrote a letter of encouragement to the Earls 
of Westmoreland and Northumberland, who were at the 
head of it 

But now Pius V. foresaw and prevented a danger that 
menaced all Eastern and Southern Europe. The Ottoman 
power was making rapid progress. Its ascendency was 
secured in the Mediterranean, and its various attempts, 
first upon Malta, and next on Cyprus, rendered obvious 

May 5] 51 Pius V. 89 

the fact, that it was earnestly bent on the subjugation of 
the yet unconquered islands. Italy herself was menace4 
from Hungary and Greece. After long efforts, Pius suc- 
ceeded in awakening the Catholic sovereigns to the per- 
ception that there was indeed imminent danger. The idea 
of a league between these princes was suggested to the 
pope by the attack on Cyprus ; this he proposed to Venice 
on the one hand, and to Spain on the other. " When I 
received permission to negotiate with him on that subject,*' 
says the Venetian ambassador, "and communicated my 
instructions to that effect, he raised his hands to heaven, 
offering thanks to God, and promising that his every 
thought, and all the force he could command, should be 
devoted to that purpose." 

Infinite were the troubles and labours the pontiff had to 
tindergo before he could remove the difficulties impeding 
the union of the two maritime powers; he contrived to 
associate with them the other States of Italy, and although, 
in the beginning, he had neither money, ships, nor arms, 
he yet found means to reinforce the fleet with some few 
papal galleys. He also contributed to the selection of 
Don John of Austria as general; and made Antony 
Colonna admiral. To avoid the jealousies and dis- 
sensions likely to spring up among the princes uniting in 
the undertaking, the pope was declared chief of the league 
and expedition. The pope, together with his apostolic 
blessing, sent the general an assurance of victory, and an 
order to disband all soldiers who seemed to have joined 
the exped tion merely for the sake of plunder, and all 
'Scandalous livers, whose crimes might draw down the 
wrath of God upon them, and blight their prospects of 

The Christians sailed from Corfii, and found the Turkish 
^eet at anchor in the harbour of Lepanto. Six hundred 

90 Lives of the Saints. [May %. 

vessels of war met face to face on October 7th, 1571. 
Rarely in history had so gorgeous a scene of martial array 
been witnessed. An October sun gilded the thousand 
beauties of an Ionian landscape. Athens and Corinth were 
behind the combatants; the mountains of Alexander's 
Macedon rose in the distance, and the heights of Actium 
were before their eyes. Since the day when the world 
had been lost and won beneath that famous promontary, 
no such combat as the one now approaching ha'd been 
fought upon the waves. Don John of Austria despatched 
energetic messages to his fellow-captains. Colonna 
answered his chief in the language of S. Peter, " Though I 
die, yet will I not deny thee." Crucifix in hand, the High 
Admiral rowed from ship to ship exhorting generals and 
soldiers to show themselves worthy of so holy a cause. 
Don John knelt upon his deck and offered a prayer. He 
then ordered the trumpets to sound the assault, com- 
manded his sailing-master to lay him alongside the Turkish 
Admiral, and the battle began. The Venetians, who were 
first attacked, destroyed ship after ship of their assailants, 
after a close and obstinate contest. But the action speedily 
became general. From noon till evening it raged, with a 
carnage rarely recorded in history. By sunset the battle 
had been won. Of nearly three hundred Turkish galleys, 
but fifty made their escape. From twenty-five to thirty 
thousand Turks were slain, and perhaps ten thousand 
Christians. The meagre result of the contest is as no- 
torious as the victory. While Constantinople, almost 
undefended, was quivering with apprehension, the rival 
generals were already wrangling with animosity. Had the 
Christian fleet advanced, the capital would have yielded 
without a blow, and the power of the Crescent in Europe 
have been at an end for ever. But the mutual jealousies 
of the commanders prevented them taking this final step. 

Mays] 6*. Pius V. 9 1 

and Don John sailed westward with his ships. Neverthe- 
less a great blow had been struck which crippled the 
Turkish power, and from that hour its advances in Europe 
and its supremacy in the Mediterranean were at an end. 

The pope, from the beginning of the expedition, had 
ordered public prayers and fasts, and had not ceased to 
solicit heaven, like Moses on the mount, with outspread 
hands, for victory on the Christian arms. At the hour of 
the engagement, the procession of the Rosary was pouring 
forth prayers for the army in the church of the Minerva. 
The pope was then conversing with some cardinals on 
business, when on a sudden, he left them abruptly, threw 
open a window, stood for some time with his eyes fixed on 
heaven, and then turning to the astonished cardinals, said, 
"No more business, let us give thanks to God for the 
great victory He has accorded to the arms of the Christians." 
This fact was carefully attested, and recorded both at the 
time, and again in the process of canonization of the saint 
In memory of this glorious victory, the pope instituted the 
Festival of the Rosary, to be observed on the first Sunday 
in October, and ordered the words "Succour of Christians" 
to be inserted in the Litany of Our Lady. 

His next design was the formation of a league against 
England. He promised that he would expend the whole 
treasure of the Church, the very chalices and crosses 
included, on an expedition against that country ; he even 
declared that he would, himself, head the undertaking. 
The principal subject of his last words was the league, and 
the last coins sent from his hand were destined for this 
purpose. But death approached, and it was reserved 
for a successor to see the attempt made and fail. 

When he felt that death was approaching, he once more 
visited the seven Basilican churches, "in order," as he said, 
" to take leave of the holy places." Thrice did he kiss the 

92 Lives of the Saints. [May 5. 


lowest steps of the Scala Santa. Then he returned to die in 
the Vatican, on May the ist, 1572, at the age of sixty-eight, 
having governed the Church six years and almost four 

His relics lie in the church of S. Maria Maggiore, at 


May 6.] ^S". EvodlUS. 


May 6. 

S. EvoDlus, BM, (if jtntioch, circ, a.d. 66. 

S. John before thk Latin Gatb, at Rome, a.d. 95 (see Dec. 2)111), 

S. Lucius of Cvreke, B., xst cent,^ 

S. Justus, B.M. of Flenne in Gaul, a.d. 178. 

S. AvM, f.Af. near Cologne^ a.d. 451 (?) 

S. Eadbert, B, of Lindisfarne, a.d. 698. 

S. John Damascene, Mk., P, in Palestine, circ. a.d. 770. 

B. Elizabeth of Huxcary, F, at Toss, in Switzerland, A.r. X338. 


(about A.D. 66.) 

[All Western Martyrologies. Authorities : — Mention in the Epistle of 
S. Paul to the Philippians iv. 2 ; also in the Epistle of S. Ignatius to the 
Antiocene Church. Ths Greeks commemorate SS. Evodius and Onesi- 
phorus together on the same day, April 29th ; the Latins venerate S. 
Onesiphorus on Sept. 6th.] 

;AINT evodius or EUODIAS, to whom S. 
Paul the Apostle sends greeting in his Epistle 
to the Philippians, was the first bishop of Antioch 
after S. Peter, as S. Ignatius tells us, consecrated 
to it by the apostles themselves. He is supposed to have 
suffered martyrdom, but it is very uncertain as lo when^ 
and by what manner of death he was called to glorify God ; 
and indeed it is very questionable whether there is any 
authority for regarding him as a martyr. 

1 Roman Martyrology. Mentioned Acts xiii. z. • Nothing more is known of 
kirn J by some he is called bishop of Gyrene, by others bishop of Olympias, by 
others bishop of Laodicea ; but none have any authority for so styling him. 

94 Lives of tlie Saints. [May 6. 

S. AVI A, V.M. 


[Galilean Martyrology. Venerated at Auray, near Vannes, in Brittany, 
at Meulan-sur-Seine, and at Paris. Her festival is generally celebrated 
on the ist Sunday in May. The Bollandists mention her on May 2nd, 
and say that no life of this 'virgin martyr exists, not even in the Ursuline 
convent of S. Avoye, at Paris, where her relics reposed till the Revolution. 
Some writers identify her with S. Aurea (Oct. 4th). The only authority 
for her legend is a metrical life in French, probably of the 13th or 14th 
cent., on .which the Pdre Giry has founded a life. It is almost needless to 
say that the whole story is fabulous.] 

S. AviA, or Aveze, as she is called in France, according 
to the legend, was born in Sicily, at 4;he beginning of the 
3rd cent Her father, Quintianus, was a king of that 
country, and he persecuted the Christians with great fury. 
But Gerasina, his queen, who was a British lady, believed 
in Christ, and after a while converted her husband. By 
him she had nine children, three sons and six daughters. 
The youngest of the latter was named Avia or Aurea. 
After the death of King Quintianus, in the year 234, 
Dioned, king of Cornwall, ^ who had married Dara, sister of 
Gerasina, began to make preparations for the marriage of 
his only daughter, the famous S. Ursula, with Holo- 
phemes (!) son of the king of Britain (!!). He invited 
his sister from Sicily to the wedding festivities, and 
she started for "Cornwall' in Ireland," with her daughter 
Avia, and three other daughters, whose names wete dis- 
covered by revelation, in the middle of the 12th cent, to 
Elizabeth of Schonau (d. 1165), and the Blessed Hermann, 
Joseph of Steinfeld (d. circ. 1230) ;3 they were Babila, 
Juliana, and Victoria, and her youngest son Adrian. 

' Guerin and Giry say 3rd cent. The Legendaire de la Morine says Jth cent. 

* " In Ireland/* says P. Giry. The geography and the history in this wonderful 
story are quite in keeping with each other. .It is unnecessary to point out the 
glaring absurdities and anachronisms in the tale. 

» See April 7th. 

May 6.) S. A Via. 


On the arrival of Gerasina and her children at the court 
of Dioned, Ursula informed her aunt of her intention to 
evade the projected marriage. Gerasina highly approved 
of her purpose, and with her four daughters, accompanied 
S. Ursula on that famous expedition with eleven thousand 
virgins, which ended in their martyrdom at Cologne (Oct 
2 1 St) at the hands of the Huns.^ 

Only three of the eleven thousand were spared One of 
these three was Avia, but her martyrdom was only deferred. 

"It must have been very touching," says the P^re Giry, 
" to see this tender virgin, after witnessing the massacre of 
her mother, her sisters, and all her companions, alone in 
an unknown land, in the power of barbarians, who had 
nothing in them human except their faces, and who, to their 
idolatry and impiety, added a ferocious humour, and a 
brutality equal to that of the most savage animals, so that 
like S. Ignatius the Martyr, she might have called them a 
troop of tigers." She was shut into a prison, but the 
Blessed Virgin brought three loaves or cakes every day, 
and passed them to her through the bars of the window. 
No menaces, no torments could shake the constancy of 
the captive. The Huns, either having caught some lions 
which haunted the forest neighbourhood of Cologne, or 
.having brought the beasts with them from the cold banks 
. of the Volga, turned them into* the prison of Avia, but the 
royal beasts would not touch her. Then the Huns tor- 
mented her with savage cruelty, cut oflf her breasts, plucked 
. out her eyes, and beat her to death. 

She is pretended to have appeared in the parish of 

Ploermel, near Auray, in the diocese of Vannes in Brittany, 

. and that she touched a stone and a fountain. To this day 

: infants are placed on this stone, which is hollowed out in the 

i, middle, and are dipped in the fountain, to enable them to walk. 

1 Whose invasion of the Rhine did not occur till a.d. 451. 

96 Lives of the Sat7tts. [May 6. 


(a.d. 697.) 

[Roman and Anglican Martyrologies. Some late Martyrologists, as 
Maurolycus, Canisius, Menardus, Bucelinus, &c., ' have confounded 
him with S. Egbert, who died at lona, and who is commemorated on 
April 24th. Authority :— Bede's EccL Hist. iv. 29, 30, and his life of 
S. Cuthbert, c. 12] 

S. Eadbert is said to have been bom amongst the South 
Saxons. He succeeded S. Cuthbert in the see of Lindis- 
farne, and Bede describes him as a man excelling in know- 
ledge of the Holy Scriptures, and in observance of the 
angelic precepts. He administered the Church of Lindis- 
fame for about ten years; during which time it was his 
custom twice in the year — ^Advent and Lent — to make a 
retreat into the islet, where S. Cuthbert had resided, before 
he went to Fame. There he could be alone with God and 
his own soul, surrounded by the tumbling grey waves of 
the Northern ocean. He was present when the body of 
S. Cuthbert was translated, eleven years after the death of 
this great prelate, and the body was found perfectly fresh 
and incorrapt. Shortly after this event, Eadbert fell 
sick and died. He was placed in the sepulchre of S. 


(about A.D. 770.) 

[By the Greeks and Russians on Nov. 29th and Dec, 4th. By the- 
modern Roman Martyrology on May 6th. Authority s — His life written by 
John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, before the war 969.] 

S. John Damascene has the double honour of being^ 
the last but one of the Fathers of the Eastern Church, and 
the greatest of her poets. It is surprising, however, how 


May 6.] S. y okfi Dumascefie. 97 

little that is authentic is known of his life. The account 
of him by John of Jerusalem, written some two hundred 
years after his death, contains an admixture of legendary 
matter, and it is not easy to say where truth ends and 
fiction begins. 

The ancestors of John, according to his biographer, 
when Damascus fell into the hands of the Arabs, had 
alone remained faithful to Christianity. They commanded 
the respect of the conqueror, and were employed in judicial 
offices of trust and dignity, to administer, no doubt, the 
Christian law to the Christian subjects of the Suhan. His 
father, besides this honourable rank, had amassed great 
wealth ; all this he devoted to the redemption of Christian 
slaves, on whom he bestowed their freedom. John was 
the reward of these pious actions. John was baptized 
immediately on his birth, probably by Peter II., bishop of 
Damascus, afterwards a sufiferer for the Faith. The father 
was anxious to keep his son aloof from the savage habits 
of war and piracy, to which the youths of Damascus were 
addicted, and to devote him to the pursuit of knowledge. 
The Saracen pirates of the sea-shore neighbouring to 
Damascus, swept the Mediterranean, and brought in 
Christian captives from all quarters. A monk named 
Cosmas had the misfortune to fall into the hands of these 
freebooters. He was set apart for death, when his exe- 
cutioners, Christian slaves no doubt, fell at his feet and 
entreated his intercession with the Redeemer. The 
Saracens enquired of Cosmas who he was. He replied 
that he had not the dignity of a priest; he was a simple 
monk, and burst into tears. The father of John was stand- 
ing by, and expressed his surprise at this exhibition of 
timidity. Cosmas answered, " It is not for the loss of my 
life, but of my learning, that I weep." Then he recounted 
his attainments, and the father of John, thinking he would • 

VOL, V. 7 

98 Lives of the Saints. [May 6. 

make a valuable tutor for his son, begged or bought his life 
of the Saracen governor; gave him his freedom, and placed 
his son under his tuition. The pupil in time exhausted all 
the acquirements of his teacher. The monk then obtained 
his dismissal, and retired to the monastery of S. Sabas, 
where he would have closed his days in peace, had he not 
been compelled to take on himself tlie bishopric of Majuma, 
the port of Gaza. 

The attainments of the young John of Damascus ^ com- 
manded the veneration of the Saracens ; he was compelled 
reluctantly to accept an office of higher trust and dignity 
than that held by his father. As the Iconoclastic contro- 
versy became more violent, John of Damascus entered the 
field against the Emperor of the East, and wrote the first 
of his three treaties on the Veneration due to Images. 
This was probably composed immediately after the decree 
of Leo the Isaurian against images, in 730. 

Before he wrote the second, he was apparently ordained 
priest, for he speaks as one having authority and commis- 
sion. The third treatise is a recapitulation of the arguments 
used in the other two. These three treatises were dis- 
seminated with the utmost activity throughout Christianity. 

The biographer of John relates a story which is disproved 
not only by its exceeding improbability, but also by being 
opposed to the chronology of his history. It is one of 
those legends of which the East is so fertile, and cannot be 
traced, even in allusion, to any document earlier than the 
biography written two hundred years later. Leo the 
Isaurian, having obtained, through his emissaries, one of 
John's circular epistles in his own hand^vriting — so runs 
the tale — caused a letter to be forged, containing a pro- 
posal from John of Damascus to betray his native city to »• 
the Christians. The emperor, with specious magnanimity, 

• ElMansur (i.^., "The Victorious*') was the name he went by among the Saracens. 

May 6.] S. y okft Daiuascenc. 99 

sent this letter to the Sultan. The indignant Mahommedan 
ordered the guilty hand of John to be cut off. John 
entreated that the hand might be restored to him, knelt 
before the image of the Virgin, prayed, fell asleep, and 
woke with his hand as before. John, convinced by this 
miracle, that he was under the special protection of our 
Lady, resolved to devote himself wholly to a life of 
prayer and praise, and retired to the monastery of S. 

That the Sultan should have contented himself with 
cutting off the hand of one of his magistrates for am act of 
high treason is in itself improbable, but it is rendered more 
improbable by the fact that it has been proved by Father 
Lequien, the learned editor of his works, that S. John 
Damascene was already a monk at S. Sabas before the 
breaking out of the Iconoclastic dispute. 

In 743, the Khalif Ahlid II. persecuted the Christians. 
He cut off the tongue of Peter, metropolitan of Damascus, 
and banished him to Arabia Felix. Peter, bishop of Majuma, 
suffered decapitation at the same time, and S. John of 
Damascus wrote an eulogium on his memory. 

Another legend is as follows; it is probably not as 
apocryphal as that of the severed hand : — The abbot sent S. 
John in the meanest and most beggarly attire to sell baskets 
in the market-place of Damascus, where he had been 
accustomed to appear in the dignity of office, and to vend 
his poor ware at exorbitant prices. Nor did the harsh- 
ness of the abbot end there. A man had lost his brother, 
and broken-hearted at his bereaval, besought S. John to 
compose him a sweet hymn that might be sung at his 
brother's funeral, and which at the same time would soothe 
his own sorrow. John asked leave of the abbot, and was 
curtly refused permission. But when he saw the distress 
of the mourner he yielded, and sang him a beautiful lament 

• •• • 

• •• 

• •• • 


• •• 


lOO Lives of the Saints. cMaye. 

The abbot was passing at the time, and heard the voice of 
his disciple raised in song. Highly incensed, he expelled 
him from the monastery, and only re-admitted him on 
condition of his daily cleaning the filth from all the cells of 
his brethren. An opportune vision rebuked the abbot for 
thus wasting the splendid talents of his inmate. John was 
allowed to devote himself to religious poetry, which became 
the heritage of the Eastern Church, and to theological 
arguments in defence of the doctrines of the Church, and 
refutation of all heresies. His three great hymns or 
"canons," are those on Easter, the Ascension, and S. 
Thomas's Sunday. Probably also many of the Idiomela 
and Stichera which are scattered about the office-books 
under the title of yohn and 'yohn the Hermit are his.^ 
His eloquent defence of images has deservedly procured 
him the title of T?ie Doctor of Christian Art, The date of 
his death cannot be fixed with any certainty ; but it lies 
between 754 and before 787. 


(a.d. 1338.) 

[Anciently venerated at Toss, near Winterthtir, in Thurgau. Authority : 
— A life by Heinrich Murer (1670), derived from the chronicle of the con- 
vent of Toss.] 

S. Elizabeth of Hungary, ^ who married the landgrave 
of Hesse and Thuringia, was the daughter of Andrew, king 
of Hungary, by his wife Gertrude, daughter of Berchthold, 
duke of Meran. The same king Andrew in second 
marriage took Beatrice, daughter of Aldobrandini, marquis 
of Este, and died in 1228. His wife bore him a posthumous 

1 Translations of some of his exquisite sacred poetry will be found in Dr. Ncalc's 
Hymns of theEastern Church. London : Hayes, 1862. 

'Commemorated on Nov. igth. 


May 6.3 B. Elizabeth. loi 

son, named Stephen, who married a Venetian lady, by 
whom he had a son, Andrew of Venice, who succeeded to 
the throne of Hungary in 1290. Andrew had a daughter 
loy a Sicilian wife, whom he named Elizabeth, after her 
:great and saintly ancestor ; she was bom and baptized at 
Buda in 1297, and in honour of her birth all the fountains 
vof the city were made to spout wine, and the bells pealed 
all day long. 

On the death of his wife, Fenna of Sicily, Andrew 

Tuarried Agnes, daughter of Albert of Austria, king of the 

Romans. On the death of Andrew, in 1301, Agnes 

jesolved on betrothing the young Elizabeth, then aged four, 

to her brother Henry, duke of Austria, and her dowry was 

fixed at three hundred thousand crowns. But in 1308 an 

^vent took place which affected and altered the fate of the 

princess. The Emperor Albert of Austria, the father of 

Agnes, was in that year invading Switzerland with his army, 

and had crossed the ferry of the Reuss in a small boa^ 

leaving his suite on the opposite bank. In the boat with 

him were four men, John of Suabia, his nephew, whom he 

had wrongfully kept out of his inheritance, and who had 

leagued with others to slay him. " The other three in the 

boat were Balm, Walter of Essenbach, and Wart. On 

reaching the bank. Balm ran the emperor through with his 

sword, and Walter cleft his skulj with a felling-axe. Wart 

the fourth took no share in the murder. The imperial 

jetainers, terrified, took to flight, leaving their dying master 

to breathe his last in the arms of a poor peasant who 

happened to pass. 

""A peasant girl that royal head upon her bosom laid, 

And, shrinking not for woman's dread, the face of death surveyed, 
Alone she sate. From hill and wood low sunk the mournful sun ; 
Fast gushed the fount of noble blood. Treason his worst had done. 
Wiih her long hair she vainly pressed the wounds, to staunch their tide^ 
Unknown, on that meek, humble breast, imperial Albert died." 

Mrs, HemaHs, 

102 Lives of the Saints. [May&. 

A direful vengeance was wreaked by the children of the 
murdered monarch; not, however, upon the murderers — 
for, with the exception of Wart, the only one who did not 
raise his hand against him, they all escaped^ — ^but upon 
their families, relations, and friends ; and one thousand 
victims are believed to have expiated, with their lives, a 
crime of which they were totally innocent Queen Agnes 
gratified her spirit ot revenge with the sight of these horrid 
executions, exclaiming, while sixty-three unfortunate men 
were butchered before her, "Now I bathe in May-dew!'' 
But ere long the dead men came back to haunt the 
ferocious queen, and in the agony of her remorse she 
founded the convent of Konigsfelden, near Brugg, in 13 lo, 
and endowed it with the confiscated property of those she 
had slaughtered. She retired into it, and endeavoured by 
penance, prayer, and almsgiving, to stifle the qualms of a 
guilty conscience for the bloody deeds which she had 
committed. It is recorded that a holy hermit, to whom 
she applied for absolution, replied to her, "Woman! God 
is not to be served with bloody hands, nor by the slaughter 
of innocent persons, nor by convents built with the plunder 
of orphans and widows, but by mercy and forgiveness of 

The horror of this great crime must have weighed on the 
princess Elizabeth, then a child, and the tears and frenzied 
remorse of her stepmother and guardian were some of first 
storms of life which swept before her young eyes.2 They 
had their effect. She shrank from a position in the world, 
and at the head of a state, which might involve her in 
crime either as the instigator or as the victim; and she 
quitted the world to seek peace and safety and innocence 

> John of Suabia died a monk at Pisa in 13x3. 

* Thus we are expressly told by the chronicler, " Super quibus malis tantoque 
cfFuso sanguine grayiter compuncta Elizabeth est." 

May 6.] B. Elizabeth. 


in the cloister. Her stepmother desired her to remain 
with her in the convent of Konigsfelden, but Elizabeth 
recoiled from that home founded in blood, and the con- 
stant presence of the wolfish queen. She declared she 
must reside elsewhere, and she entered her noviciate in the 
Dominican convent of Toss, when aged thirteen, under a 
harsh superior placed over her through the influence of her 
stepmother Agnes, who treated Elizabeth with such severity 
that all the sisters pitied her. The object of the queen of 
Hungary was to disgust Elizabeth with cloister life, that 
she might return to the world, and fulfil her engagement to 
Henry of Austria. Before she took the veil, Henry visited 
the convent to claim his bride. Henry was so angry to 
see her in the religious habit, that he rudely plucked the 
veil off her head, and tore and stamped on it. He then 
urged his suit in a manner more likely to address itself to 
her heart, and Elizabeth promised to give him an answer 
after a brief delay. When he had left, she cast herself 
before the Blessed Sacrament in the Church, and besought 
guidance. On the return of the duke, she refused him, 
and was thenceforth left unmolested in her tranquil home. 
At one time she had for director a friar of the same order, 
whose rough treatment distressed her greatly. The man 
was bluff and uncultivated, and could not sympathise with 
the conscientious scruples and sensitive pains of her deli- 
cate soul, and showed great impatience at the recital of her 
troubles, which he regarded as the results of a morbid 
sentimentality. She then had recourse to the Divine Guide, 
and kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, poured out her 
griefs in His ear. Nor was it much better when the friar, 
informed that his penitent was a princess, changed his tone 
to one of obsequious apology. 

She was thoroughly unpresuming, and the sister who 
served as cook, declared that in all the twenty-four years 

I04 Lives of tlie Saints. [May«. 

that she had known her, she never found fault with her 
food. Her garments were threadbare, so as to call forth 
the angry remonstrance of her stepmother, when she went 
to visit her in her convent at Konigsfelden, " What ! you, a 
king's daughter, wear an old gown like this !" Her cell 
was perfectly plain, with a crucifix, a pallet bed with straw 
mattress, a coverlet and blankets. The washing utensils 
were of wood, and were kept scrupulously clean. She was 
very devout at all the choir offices, and one of the sisters 
in a dream saw Elizabeth singing matins, and every word 
came sparkling out of her mouth as a diamond or a pearl, 
and fell into a bowl she held. These were the only jewels 
she possessed. Her stepmother kept from her all her 
fortune, and only allowed her just enough for her sub- 
sistence, and on one occasion added insult to injury by 
showing her all the jewels that had belonged to her father, 
King Andrew, which Agnes kept for herself in a great oak 
chest in her cell at Konigsfelden.^ She did not give 
Elizabeth a single gem. This was when Elizabeth, 
after an illness, was sent to the baths at Baden, in Thurgau, 
and she took the opportunity to visit the old queen. Be- 
fore she returned to Toss she made a pilgrimage to 
Einsiedeln. She was ill again four years after, and her life 
was despaired of; when on S. Elizabeth's feast in the 
night, after the bell had called all the sisters to matins, 
S. Elizabeth, her patron, appeared to her, leaning over her 
bed, and taking her head in her hands, laid it on her 
bosom. Next morning Elizabeth was better, and in a few 
days was well. For the four last years of her life she 
suffered from tertian fever. 

In her last sickness, which was long and painful, we are 
told that two sisters were deputed, to sit up with her at 
^ght One night both fell asleep ; a sudden flash of light 

^Tbe chest still exists, and is shown at the secularised abbey. 

May 6.] B. Elizobeth. 105 

aroused one, but Elizabeth told her to go to sleep again, 
and she remained wearily longing for the dawn. Then 
suddenly the extinguished pendant lamp above her bed 
kindled of itself, and shed its soft radiance over her, 
illumining also the form of the Crucified at the foot of her 
bed, to which she could look, and meditating on His 
passion^ bear her own pains with resignation. And when 
the last night came, she rose from her bed, and went to 
the choir and knelt before the adorable Sacrament, and 
then crawled back to her cell without the sisters who were 
deputed to watch her, but who had fallen asleep, being 
aware till too late to prevent it. As the day returned, she 
bade them throw open the window, and she looked out at 
the May buds and the blue sky, whilst the fresh spring air 
wafted into her sick room. Then, with her eyes fixed on 
the sky, she prayed, " My Lord and my God, Creator and 
Redeemer of my soul, and He who rewards all our labours 
in the end, look on me this day with the eyes of Thy 
mercy, and receive me from this world of woe into Thy 
celestial country, for the sake of Thy bitter passion and 
death.'' Then turning to the prioress and all the sisters, 
she thanked them for their kindness to her, and after that, 
relapsed into silent prayer, and fell asleep in Christ, on the 
6th May, 1338, in the forty-first year of her age. 

She was buried at Toss in the convent church. The 
convent has been suppressed, and its buildings converted 
into a factor}^ The monument of the Blessed Elizabeth, 
with the arms of Hungary on it, is still visible in the exist- 
ing church, and her remains have been left therein imdis- 

io6 Lives of the Saints. tMayy. 

May ?• 

St Flavia Domatilla, V.M. at ferracina, a.d. 99. 

S. Onadkatus, M. at Necomediaf ^rd cent, 

S. DoMiTiAN, B, of Maestsicht, eire. a.d. j6o. 

S. Generic, D. at See% in France, end <if *jth cent, 

S. Benedict II., Pope <if Rome, a.d. 68^. 

S. John of Bkverlby, jlrchb. of Tork, a.d. ijii, 

S. Stanislaus, B, Cracotv in Poland, a.d. 1079. 

(a.d. 99.) 

[Ado, Roman Martyrology, also with SS. Nereus and Achilles on 
May 12th. Authorities : — Dio Cassius, liv. Ixvii, and Eusebius Hist. 
Eccl., lib. iii., c. 18.] 

10 CASSIUS, the heathen historian (b. 155) 
says : — " In the same year (a.d. 95) Domitian 
executed, amongst many others, the consul 
Flavins Clemens, although he was his kins- 
man, and was married to Flavia Domitilla, also his relative. 
Both were accused of atheism (/>., Christianity) on which 
charge also many others who had strayed to Jewish customs 
were condemned, some to death, others to confiscation of 
goods. Domitilla was, however, only exiled to Pandateria 
(the isle of Ischia)." The account given by Eusebius 
differs so materially, that it has been supposed there were 
two of the name of Flavia Domitilla. He says, "To such 
an extent did the doctrine which we profess flourish, that 
even historians that are far from befriending our religion, 
have not hesitated to record this persecution and its martyr- 
doms in their histories. These, also, have accurately 
noted the time, for it happened, according to them^-in the 
fifteenth year of Domitian (a.d. 95). At the same time, for 

May?.] 61 Flavia Domitilla. 107 

professing Christ, Flavia Domitilla, the niece of Flavius 
Clemens, one of the consuls of Rome at that time, was 
transported, with many others, by way of punishment, to 
the island of Pontia.^' 

Flavius Clemens was cousin germain of the emperor, 
and was certainly consul in 95. He had two sons, whom 
the emperor had resolved should succeed him on the throne, 
and he had changed their names to Vespasian and Domitian. 
But Flavius Clemens was executed, and his wife, Domitilla, 
w^s banished to Pontia, whilst — so the two accounts are 
reconciled — his niece FlaviaDomitilla was sent to Pandateria. 
Domitian was succeeded by Nerva, who died in 98, after a 
reign of little more than a year, and Trajan mounted the 
throne. Nerva had recalled the exiles, and — if we may 
believe the apocryphal Acts of SS. Nereus and Achilles-^. 
Flavia Domitilla the younger, the niece of Flavius Clemens, 
was then at Terracina. Trajan persecuted the Church, and 
Domitilla was burnt in her house, together with her two 
servants, Euphrosyne and Theodora. Her eunuchs, Nereus 
and Achilles, had already suffered. All this, however, is 
very questionable as history. For further information we 
refer to the account of SS. Nereus and Achilles (May 12th.) 

It is difficult to say whether the S. Flavia Domitilla, com- 
memorated on May 7 th, be not the elder saint, who was 
not a martyr, though, as S. Jerome says, her life was one 
long martyrdom in exile ; and the S. Flavia Domitilla, on 
May 1 2th, be the younger, if there really were two of this 
name. It is by no means improbable that Eusebius made' 
a mistake, and that this mistake has led to the making of 
two saints of the same name. The Acts are of no authority. 

xo8 Lives of the Saints. cMav^. 


(A.D. 560.) 

(Belgian Martyrologies. Authority :— Two lives, one of uncertain date. 
The other written after 11 83.] 

S. DoMiTiAN, the patron of Huy, on the Meuse, was 
born in France ; he was made Bishop of Tongres, but on 
the see of Maestricht becoming vacant, he was elevated 
thereto by the people and clergy of that diocese. Accord- 
ing to a popular tradition at Huy, he delivered the neigh- 
bourhood from an enormous serpent which infected with its 
venom the water of a fountain. He spent a long time at 
Huy, but died at Maestricht His body is preserved at 
Huy, in a magnificent mediaeval reliquary in the church of 
Notre-Dame. He is invoked against fever. Anciently, on 
May 7 th, a procession carrying his shrine made the circuit 
of Huy, followed by all fever-struck patients in their shirts, 
candle in hand. To this day the shrine is borne proces- 
sionally to the fountain where S. Domitian is said to have 
slain the serpent 

(a.d. 685.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Not in Bede, Notker, or Usuardus. Au- 
thority : — His life in the collection of Anastasius the Librarian.] 

Pope Leo II. was buried on July 3rd, 683, and the 
Chair of S. Peter remained vacant for more than a twelve- 
month, till Benedict II. was crowned on June 26th, 684. 
This was owing to the necessity of obtaining imperial 
confirmation of the election. But the inconvenience was 
so great, that Constantine Pogonatus, the emperor, issued 
an edict, which enacted that, on the unanimous suffrage of 
the clergy, the people, and the soldiery (who now asserted 

May?.] S. yohn of Beverly. 109 

a right in the election of the pontiff, similar to the privilege 
of the Praetorian Guard in the election of the emperor), the 
pope might at once proceed to his coronation. Benedict 
was a Roman by birth, and from his earliest infancy had 
exhibited every mark of piety. He reigned only nine 
months ; but in his brief reign he found time to adorn and 
enrich several of the churches of Rome. Constantine, as 
a mark of especial favour, cut locks off the hair of his two 
sons, Justinian and Heraclius, and sent them to the pope, 
who went forth in solemn procession with his clergy and 
all the troops in Rome to receive, with becoming gravity 
and respect, the august donation. 

(a.d. 721.) 

[Roman and Anglican Martyrologies, York and Sarum Kalendars^ 
October 28th, as the day of his Translation. Authority :— A life by 
Folcard, monk of Canterbury (fl. 1066), at the request of Aldred, Arch 
bishop of York ; too late to contain much that is life-like and of great 
interest. Bede also mentions S. John in several places. Bede is an 
excellent authority, for he was a pupil of S. John, and was ordained by 

S. John was educated at the famous school of S. Theo- 
dore, Archbishop of Canterbury, under the holy abbot 
Adrian (January 9th.) On his return to the North of 
England, his native country, he entered the monastery of 
Whitby, governed by the abbess Hilda. On the death of 
Eata, he was appointed and consecrated to the bishopric of 
Hagulstad, or Hexham, by Archbishop Theodore. When 
S. Wilfred was recalled from banishment in 686, by Aldfrid^ 
King of Northumbria, all the bishops appointed by Arch- 
bishop Theodore in the province of York, viz., three, Hex- 
ham, Ripon, and York, were displaced. S. Cuthbert volun- 

no Lives of the Saints. cway^. 

tarily resigned his see of Lindisfarne, and for a brief space S. 
Wilfred recovered what he considered to be his rights. But 
the restoration lasted only a year, and Wilfred was again 
driven into banishment. Probably S. John then resumed 
the government of the see of Hexham. But this is un- 
certain. On the death of Wilfred, Bosa was appointed to 
the see of York, and when Bosa died, 5ohn was chosen to 
fill the see. 

He founded the monastery of Beverley, in the midst of 
the wood then called Deirwald, or the Forest of Deira, 
among the ruins of the deserted Roman settlement of 
Petuaria. This monastery, like so many others of the 
Anglo-Saxons, was a double community of monks and 
nuns. In 717, broken with age and fatigue, S. John 
ordained his chaplain, Wilfred the Younger, and having 
appointed him to govern the see of York, retired for the 
remaining years of his life to Beverley, where he died 
in 721. 

(a.d. 1079.) 

[Roman Martyrology. But the Prague Martyrology, those of Cologne, 
and Lubek, Graven, Molanus and Canisius, &c., on May 8th. The 
reason that the feist of S. Stanislaus was transferred back to the 7th, was 
so as not to obscure the feast of the Apparition of S. Michael. But May 
8th, the day of his martyrdom, is that on which anciently the feast was 
celebrated. Authorities : — A life in the Polish History of John Longinus 
Dlugoss, canon of Cracow (d. 1480) ; ^ also a life written in 1252, and 
another Ufe, ancient, but of uncertain date.] 

S. Stanislaus was bom on the 26th of July, 1030, at 
Sezepanow, near Bochnia, a town in Austrian Galicia, 
formerly part of the kingdom of Poland. 

^ Longinus Dlugoss is not very trastworthy about dates; his account contain! 
fSome strange mistakes in chronology. 

May».j S. Stanislaus. in 

He was educated at Gnesen, and in Paris, and on the 
death of his parents, he resolved to devote his great wealth 
to the service of the Church. He was ordained by Lambert 
Zula, bishop of Cracow, who gave him a canonry in his 
cathedral. On the death of Lambert, in 1072, he was 
chosen to the bishopric of Cracow. At this time Boleslaus 
II. was King of Poland. This prince made himself 
abhorred hy his subjects on account of his atrocious 
cruelty and unbridled lust No one had courage to remon- 
strate against him, and at last, when he had carried off the 
beautiful wife of one of his nobles, Stanislaus boldly inter- 
fered, remonstrating, and threatening him with excommuni- 
cation. A story is told of this period of his life, which 
must be received with caution, as we have nothing like 
contemporary evidence to substantiate it. The bishop had 
bought some land of a man named Peter, who was now 
dead, and had built on it a church. The king persuaded 
the heirs of Peter to reclaim the land. Stanislaus had not 
a receipt for the money, as the transaction had been 
conducted in good faith between him and the deceased, 
but he produced witnesses to prove that he ha^ paid the 
money. The king, however, determined to judge the case, 
and he so browbeat the witnesses that they were afraid to 
speak the truth. The king was about to give judgment 
against the bishop, when Stanislaus suddenly exclaimed, 
" Sire I delay thy judgment three days, and the^dead man 
shall himself speak." Then he went forth and spent three 
days and nights fasting and in prayer. And on the 
appointed day he went to the tomb of Peter, and bade it 
to be opened,* and when they had discovered the dead 
man, " Peter, arise !" exclaimed the bishop, touching him 
with his pastoral staff. Then the dead man, ghastly, with 
his mouldering grave clothes flapping about him, rose and 
followed the bishop between awestruck crowds to the court 

112 Lives of the Saints. [May», 

of justice, where he stood in the place of witnesses, and 
gave his testimony, and then went back to his grave, and 
was stark as before. 

At length the cruelty and profligacy of Boleslaus sur- 
passed all bounds, and he rivalled the fiendish wickedness 
ot some of the old Roman emperors. Then the bishop 
again confronted him, and this time with the threat of 
excommunication. The king in a paroxysm of rage sent 
servants 'after him to murder him ; but overawed by the 
sanctity of the prelate, they returned without having accom- 
plished the deed. Boleslaus, blind with fury, himself 
rushed to chastise the daring prelate, and found him in the 
chapel of S. Michael at some distance from the walls of 
Cracow ; he fell upon him with his sword, cut open his 
head, and in his brutal rage mutilated the face of the 
dying man. Then his attendants hacked the body and 
cast it into the field, where three eagles are said to have 
defended it from the wild dogs till some of the faithful 
found means to remove it secretly and bury it.^ Pope 

^ The story of S. Stanislaus cannot be trusted in all its details. T^nginus 
Dlugoss not &o\y makes chronological errors, but when he tells such stories as the 
following, the reader loses all confidence in his judgment, if not in his common 
sense. In 12^4 the body of S. Stanislaus was solemnly elevated in the cathedral to 
a new shrine. From Hungary came a pious family in a coach drawn by a horse, 
to be present at the ceremony. On the way, the horse fell down exhausted, and 
died. Thereupon the coachman descended and flayed the horse, hung the skin 
over his stick, and shouldering it, marched ahead. But the master sat down 
stubbornly on the bank and refused to proceed. His wife implored him to trust 
in the merits of S. Stanislaus, and go forward. But he declared his intention to 
return. Then she had recourse to tears, and finally he gave way, she carrying the 
children, and he with the food of the party on his back. After they had gone 
some way, they heard the neighing of a horse behind them, and the wife looking 
back, exclaimed, " Here is our old horse coming after us at a trot, or I am very 
much mistaken.** "You fool,** said the husband, **has not the horse been flayed f 
Look 1 there is the driver carrying the skin on his stick.'* But lo ! when he looked^ 
the skin was gone, and the coachman could not account for the loss. So it was. 
By the merits of S. Stanislaus the horse had recovered its skin and its life, and the 
wonhy family were able to harness it again in their waggon, and continue thei*" 
iourney, singing loud praises to the saint; and on their arrival at Cracow they 
offered a wax horse at his shrine. 

May 7] S. Stauzslaus. 113 

Gregory VII. excommunicated the t3a"ant and all his 
accomplices in this sacrilegious act, placed a ban upon the 
kingdom, and released all his subjects from their allegiance 
to him. Boleslaus fled into Hungary where he died, 
according to some, by his own hand. S. Stanislaus was 
canonized by Innocent IV., in 1253. 

The body of the saint is contained in a silver sarco- 
phagus, borne by silver cherubim, in the cathedral of 
Cracow. Som^ portions also at Prague and Pilsen. 

VOL, V. 8 

114 Lives of the Saints. [Maya, 

May 8. 

S. AuRELiAN, £. 9f Limoges, 

S. Victor thb Moor, M, at Milan, a.d. 303. 

S. GiBRiAN, P.C., near Rheims, a.d. 409. 

SS. Agatho and Comp., H.M, at By%antium, a.d. 409. 

The Apparition of S< Michael on Monte Gargano, A.D.493. 

S. Desideratus, B. af BourgeSy a.d. ^50. 

S. Iduberga or Itta, Matr, at Nivelles, a.d. 652. 

S. Wiro, B. at Roermund, in Holland, *jth cent, 

S. Peter, B, <J the Tarentaise, a.d. 1175. 

(a.d. 409.) 

[Gallican Martyrology, venerated especially at Rheims. The feast of 
his Translation, April i6th. Authority : — Mention by Fiodoard (d. 966), 
his Historia Ecclesiae Remensis. Also in the Acts of S. Tressan.] 

[AINT TRESSAN, an illustrious Irishman, is said 
to have gone to France with his six brothers, 
Gibrian, Helan, German, Veran, Abran, Petran, 
and three sisters Fracla, Promptia and Posemna, 
all very devout persons. He stopped in the territory of 
Rheims, near the Mame, in the days of S. Remigius, who 
baptized Clovis I. The brethren and sisters dispersed 
among the forests around the Mame, and lived solitary live s 
S. Gibrian settled near the litde stream Cole, where it flows 
into the Mame. His body, after his death, was taken to 
Rheims, and buried in the Abbey Church of S. Remi, but 
it was torn from its grave and the dust scattered at the French 

'm^t' I. 

May 8] Apparitioft of S. Michael. 115 

(a.d. 492.) 

[Roman Martjrrology, Usuardas, Ado, Notker, &c, A double according 
to the Roman Rite.] 

On this day is commemorated the apparition of S. Michael 
the Archangel on Monte Gargano, near Manfredonia. 
Baronius remarks on the story that many of the particulars 
are certainly apocryphal. 

In the year 492, a rich man, named Gargan, had large 
herds of oxen which were pastured on the mountains. One 
of the bulls, on a certain day, separated from the herd and 
disappeared among the rocks. It was sought for a day or two 
in vain, and was found in a cavern wounded by an arrow in 
its side. As the herdsman attempted to draw the arrow, it 
flew out of the wound spontaneously and struck the man in 
the breast and wounded him. His companions, very much 
astonished at the marvel, told the story to the Bishop of 
Siponto, now Manfredonia. The bishop enjoined a fast of 
three days, and exhorted the faithful to pray incessantly for 
enlightenment as to the signification of the wonderful arrow. 
At the end of three days, S. Michael appeared to the prelate, 
and informed him that the cavern into which the bull had 
audaciously penetrated was his favourite resort, and that it 
was his will that a church should be erected there to his 

The bishop and all his clergy went in reverent procession 
to the awful cave, and celebrated the divine mysteries 
therein till a noble church was reared above it, and dedi- 
cated to the Archangel. The consecration of the churcli 
took place on Sept. 29th. 

ii6 Lives of the Saints. [Mays* 

(a.d. 65;2.) 

[Gallican, Belgian and Benedictine Martyrologies. Authorities: — Mention 
in the life of S. Gertrade, her daughter, and in the Chronicle of Sigebert 
of Gemblours.] 

This blessed woman, the wife of the saintly Pepin of 
Landen (Feb. 21st), mayor of the Palace, was the mother 
of S. Gertrude (March 21st) and S. Begga (Dec. 17th), who 
married Duke Ausigis, and became the mother of Pepin of 
Herstal, the father of Charlemagne. She became a widow 
in 640, and retired to the convent of Nivelles, governed 
by her daughter Gertrude, where she peacefully ended her 

S. WIRO, B. 

(7TH CENT.) 

[Roman, Belgian Martyrologies, Also in the dioceses of Utrecht, 
Deventer and Groningen on this day. But at Roermund on May loth to- 
gether with his companions Plechelm and Otger. Authority : — A life written 
before the middle of the 14th cent. ; but how much earlier is uncertain.] 

S. WiRO was an Irishman by birth, who, with two com- 
panions, Plechelm and Otger, by their names apparently of 
Saxon race, like so many of his countrymen, was filled with 
a desire to wander. He visited Rome, where he and 
Plechelm were ordained bishops, and then returned to Ireland. 
But again he left his native land, and this time came into 
Guelders, and having sought the court of Pepin of Herstal, 
mayor of the Palace, the father of Charlemagne, was given 
by him the Hill of S. Peter, afterwards called the Odilie- 
berg, near Roermund, where he built a cell, and there died. 
His body was translated to Roermund in 1 341. S. Wiro 
belonged to an ancient Irish family, settled at Corcobaskin, 

a^ay 8.3 S. Peter of Tarentaise. 117 

in the county of Clare, from which sprung S. Senan of 
Inniscathy. The Bollandists, Dempster, and other writers 
are wrong in numbering him among the Scottish saints. The 
writer of his life says he came from Scotia, but Scotia means 
the north part of Ireland, and in another place he speaks of 
the island from which Wiro came. Moreover, we find him 
mentioned in various old Irish documents and Kalendars. 

(A.D. 1175.) 

[Roman, Gallican and Cistercian Martyrologies. Authority :— A life 
written by a contemporary, Gaufred, Abbot of Hautecombe, by order of 
Pope Alexander III. (d. 1181).] 

This Saint was bom about the year 1102, near Vienne 
in Dauphind, and was educated in the monastery of Bon- 
neraux, which had just been founded under the strict rule of 
S. Bernard. After ten years he was sent to found the 
monastery of Tamie, in the Tarentaise, among the moxmtains 
in a bleak and elevated spot, where a monastery might serve 
as a refuge to the travellers who crossed the pass into Savoy. 
This was in 1132. He met with such success, and governed 
his monastery so well, that he was elected to the arch- 
bishopric of the Tarentaise, in 11 42. He foimd the 
diocese in sad disorder, and he rested not till he had restored 
discipline throughout it His charity was very great. On 
one winter day, as he ^as crossing the Alps, he came up 
with a poor woman thinly clad, crying with cold. He in- 
stantly plucked ofFhis white woollen habit, gave it to her, and 
proceeded to the hospice of little S. Bernard with his cloak 
wrapped round him. But the chill caused by exposure pros- 
trated him, and he lay long in the hospital ill with feverish 
cold. His goodness and his charity endeared him to the 

Ii8 Lives of the Saints. [Mays. 

poor, who crowded to the place where they heard he was, 
and often caused him great inconvenience. At S. Claude 
he went up into a tower, furnished with a pair of stairs, and 
those who desired to see him ascended by one flight of steps, 
and when they had received his benediction and advice 
descended by the other. 

But this notoriety displeased the weary bishop, who 
longed for the tranquillity of the cloister, and one day he 
disappeared. The people were in dismay. No traces of 
their archbishop could be found ; they knew not whether 
he were alive or dead. Then one of his disciples, a young 
man, undertook to find him, and he went about for a whole 
year, visiting different monasteries ; and at last, one day, 
as he stood watching the monks go forth to their work 
from the gates of a monastery in Switzerland, either Lucella, 
near Basle, or Salmanswyler, near Ueberlingen, he recog- 
nized the archbishop. He at once ran to him and claimed 
him. The astonished monks fell at the feet of the prelate 
whom they had treated as a humble lay-brother. The 
young man returned to Moutier S. Jean with his bishop, 
and the road was lined with rejoicing people (115 7). 

S. Peter had come back to be cast headlong into the 
troubles which then distracted Europe. Some account of 
these must now be given, that the labours of the saint may 
be appreciated. 

The popes had for long been troubled with dissensions 
in Rome itself. Two parties existed in that city, one 
which supported the pope in his attempt to reduce the city 
to complete subjection to his rule as its temporal sovereign, 
the other party insisting on the independence of Rome, 
and the retention of authority in the hands of the senate. 
Arnold of Brescia had headed the republican party of late, 
but had been crushed. The Emperor Frederick Barbarossa 
had combined with Pope Hadrian IV. to suppress him. 

May 8.] 6*. Peter of Tarentaise. 1 1 9 

and Hadrian had executed and burnt and cast into the 
Tiber the favourite of the Roman mob, before they were 
aware that he was in danger. But though Frederick made 
common cause with Hadrian against the republican leader, 
he had no sympathy with the papal pretensions. Hadrian 
made five demands — I. Absolute dominion over the city 
of Rome. The emperor was to send no officer to act in 
his name within the city without permission of the pope \ 
the whole magistracy of the city was to be appointed by 
the pope. II. The imperial armies were not to cross the 
papal frontier. III. The bishops of Italy were to swear 
allegiance, but not do homage to the emperor. IV. The 
ambassadors of the emperor were not to be lodged of right 
in the episcopal palaces. V. The domains of the Countess 
Matilda, the Duchy of Spoleto, and the islands of Corsica 
and Sardinia were to be restored to the Church of Rome. 

Frederick refused some of these demands till he had 
consulted his counsellors, but on some points he answered 
at once. Those bishops who did not hold fiefs should not 
be required io do homage, but those who did must either 
surrender their fiefs or submit to the customary homage. 
If they enjoyed the privileges of princes they must fulfil 
the obligations entailed by feudal tenure. He would not 
require that his ambassadors should be lodged in the 
episcopal palaces when those palaces stood on lands 
belonging to the bishops, but only if they stood on the 
lands of the empire. "For the city of Rome, by the grace 
of God, I am emperor of Rome ; if Rome be entirely with- 
drawn from my authority, the empire is an idle name, the 
mockery of a title." 

The senate of Rome thought now to take advantage of 
the rupture between Ae pope and the emperor, to enforce 
their claims, and a deputation attended on Frederick, who 
received them with favour. 

I20 Lives of the Saints. [Maya. 

Hadrian at once opened negociations with the cities of 
Lombardy, which were impatient of the iron rule of the 
emperor, and stirred them up to revolt The situation was 
strange, each antagonist was encouraging the republican 
party in the heart of his enemy's position. Hadrian was 
preparing for the last act of defiance, the excommunication 
of the emperor, when his death put an end to the conflict 
But the death of Hadrian opened the door to a schism. 

The tonclave met to elect a successor, and the electors 
were broken into two factions. On one side were the 
zealous churchmen, who were determined to make the city 
of Rome the absolute principality of the pope, supported 
by a faction of the nobles, headed by the Frangipani. 
There was much to be said for their scheme. It was im- 
possible for the successor of S. Peter to freely execute his 
authority, so long as he was not master of the city, so long 
as that city was in constant ebullition with party strife, and 
the person of the pope was incessantly closed to violence, 
often to imprisonment, more often to exile. On the other 
side were those who were attached to the emperor; the 
republican party, and a few, perhaps, who loved peace, 
and thought it the best wisdom of the Church to conciliate 
the emperor. The conflicting accounts of the proceedings 
in the conclave were made public on both sides. On the 
third day of the debate fourteen of the cardinals agreed in 
the choice of Roland the Chancellor of the Apostolic See, 
a man of unimpeachable morals and a firm assertor of 
papal supremacy and independence. The cope was 
brought forth in which he was to be invested. Then three 
cardinals of the adverse faction plucked the cope from his 
shoulders, and proclaimed Octavian pirdinal of S. Cecilia. 
A Roman senator who was present (the conclave was then 
an open court), indignant at this violence, seized the cope, 
and snatched it from the hand of Octavian. But Octavian's 

May 8.] S. Petev of Taveutaise. 121 

party were prepared for such an accident His chaplain 
produced another cope, in which he was invested with 
such indecent haste tha^ as it was declared, the front part 
appeared behind, the hinder part before. Upon this the 
assembly burst into derisive laughter. At that instant the 
gates were burst open, a hired soldiery rushed in, and sur- 
rounding Octavian, carried him forth in state. Roland 
(Alexander HI.) and the cardinals of his faction were glad 
to escape with their lives, but the Frangipani rallied about 
them. Octavian assumed the name of Victor IV., and 
was acknowledged as lawful pope by a great part of the 
rsenators and people. 

According to the opposite statement, the division was 
not of three to fourteen, but of nine to fourteen, and this 
majority was made by means of bribery, freely employed 
'^y William, king of Sicily. There can be, however, no 
question but that Alexander III. was the lawful pope. 

The emperor, on receiving the intimation of election 
from each of the rival popes, summoned a council of all 
Christendom to meet at Pavia, and cited both popes to 
submit their claims to its decision. The summons to 
Alexander was addressed to the Cardinal Roland. Alex- 
ander refused to receive a mandate so addressed, and pro- 
tested against the right of the emperor to summon a council 
without the permission of the pope. When the council 
assembled, Alexander was not present, nor did he send 
attestations of his lawful election. After a grave debate, 
and hearing many witnesses, which were all on the side of 
Victor, the council with one accord (Feb. 12th, ii6o) 
declared Victor pope, condemned and excommunicated 
the contumacious Cardinal Roland. To Victor the em- 
peror paid the customary honours, held his stirrup, and 
kissed his feet. There was a secret cause behind, which 
no doubt strongly worked on the emperor, and on the 

122 Lives of the Saints. [Mays. 

council through the emperor ; letters of Alexander to the 
insurgent Lombard cities had been seized, and were in the 
hands of Frederick. 

The Archbishop of Cologne set out for France, the 
Bishop of Mantua for. England, the Bishop of Prague for 
Hungary, to announce the decision of the council to 
Christendom, and to demand allegiance to Pope Victor. 

Alexander did not shrink from the contest. From 
Anagni he issued his excommunication against the Em- 
peror Frederick, the anti-pope, and all his adherents. 

Throughout the German empire, Victor was regarded as 
the legitimate head of Christendom. The Archbishop of 
Tarentaise was almost the only subject of the empire who 
ventured to declare openly in favour of Alexander III. 
He took his part in several councils; he travelled from 
place to place, stirring up the faithful to reject Victor and 
acknowledge Alexander. The whole Cistercian Order 
followed his lda€l, and before long he could reckon on 
several bishops and seven hundred abbots devoted to the 
cause of Alexander, and ready with tongue and pen to 
proclaim him as the lawful pope, and Victor as an usurper. 

Peter even braved the displeasure of the emperor by 
addressing him personally, "Sire ! cease persecuting the 
Church and its head ; the priests and monks, the peoples 
and cities, that have sided with their legitimate pastor. 
There is a King above kings to whom thou must give 
account." The emperor did not resent this bold rebuke, 
so great was his respect for the virtues of the archbishop. 

Alexander III. desired to see this bold champion of his 
cause, and summoned him to Rome. For Alexander, 
knowing that Frederick would be engaged in the north of 
Italy with the rebellious cities, made a sudden descent upon 
Rome, in order to add to the dignity of his cause by his 
possession of the capital city. But Rome, which would 

May 8.] 61 Peter of Tarentaise. 1 23 

hardly endure the power of a pope with undisputed autho- 
rity, was no safe residence for one with a contested title. 
Leaving a representative of his authority, he took refuge in 
France, where fie was received with demonstrations of the 
utmost respect. The rival kings of France and England 
forgot their differences in paying honoiu: to Alexander. He 
was met by both at Courcy, on the Loire, on Feb. 9th, 
1162 ; the two kings walked 'one on each side of his horse, 
holding his bridle, and so conducted him into the town. 

During the eventful years that ensued, S. Peter remained 
in his diocese labouring among his Alpine shepherds ; but 
in 1 174 he was called forth from obscurity by a mandate 
from the pope, which sent him to attempt a reconciliation 
between Louis VII., of France, and Henry II., of England. 
Louis VII. and Henry, the son of the English king, whom 
he had instigated to rebellion, met the aged prelate at 
Chaumont in the Vexin, and Prince Henry alighted from 
his horse, kissed the old bishop's tattered mantle, and begged 
it of him. The king of England met him near Gisors, and 
also shewed him great honour, but his meditation proved of 
little effect, and he returned to the Tarentaise to die. On 
his way, as he was approaching the abbey of Bellevaux, his 
strength deserted him, and he lay down beside a stream that 
rushed down the mountain-side. There it became evident 
to his attendants that he was dying. He was carried to the 
monastery and breathed his last as he entered within its 
walls. He was canonized in 1191 by Celestine VII. In 
1827 Pope Leo XII. accorded, in two briefs, an indulgence 
for seven years to those who kept his festival, and Pius IX., 
by a new brief, made the indulgence perpetual. 

The relics of the saint are preserved at Cirey, and in the 
Trappist convent of Grace-Dieu, and at Vesoul. 

124 Lives of the Saints. [May 9, 

May 9. 

S. Hbrmas, B, lifPhilippi, ist cent, 

S. Bbatus. C, at Fendome aud Loon, yd'cent, 

S, Greoory Nazianzen, Arehb» nfConstantinopU, a.d. 391. 

S« Gbrontius^ B,M. <if Cervia, a.d. jox. 

S. Bbatus, H, on the Lake <{/ Thun in SwitTterland, 9/A cent* 

Tr. S. Andrew, j/p, to jimalfi, a«d. 1298. 

(ist cent.) 

[Roman Martyrology, Usuardus, Ac. By the Greeks on March 8th.] 

[AINT HERMAS is mentioned by S. Paul in 
his Epistle to the Romans (xvi. 14). In the 
Menology of the Emperor Basil he is said 
to have been consecrated bishop of Philippi. 
The ancient writers of the Church attribute to him the 
book called " The Shepherd," which is one of the earliest 
Christian, not canonical works, of the apostolic age that we 
possess. Origen says, " I believe that it was this Hermas 
who wrote the Pastor." ^ With this agrees the testimony 
of Eusebius,2 and of S. Jerome.^ Nevertheless the justice 
of this conclusion has been much shaken by the discovery 
of an ancient fragment containing a list of canonical books 
in use by the Roman Church", composed towards the end 
of the 2nd century, and published by Muratori, in which it 
is stated that Hermas was the brother of Pope Pius I., who 
reigned between 140 and 152. **This book of Hermas, 
brother of Pope Pius, has been published recently in our 
days." * 

^ Com. in Ep. ad Rom. xvi. 14. 
* Euseb. Hist. Ecd. iii. $. * Hieron. Catal. Cap. 10 

*Murat. Antiq. Ital. iii« p*8^3. 

May 9. J S. Grcgovy Nazianzen. 125 

(A.D. 391.) 

[By the Greeks on Jan. 2Sth. Some Latin Martyrologies on Jan. nth, 
Maurolycus on Jan. 13th ; a Treves Martyrology on March 29th, But 
Usuardus, Ado, Notker, and Modem Roman Martyrology on May 9th. 
Authority ; — His life written by himself nine years before his death ; the 
Orations and Epistles, also Sozomen, Socrates, Theodoret, &c.] 

This great saint and doctor of the Church was bom ia 
329, at Arianza, a small village of Nazianzus in Cappadocia, 
not far from Csesarea. His father, Gregory, was at one. 
time a heathen, but was converted by his Christian wife^ 
Nonna, and was baptized, and then, the same year that 
Gregory was bom (329), was elected and consecrated bishop 
of Nazianzus. They had three children, a daughter Gorgonia, 
Gregory, and the youngest, Caesarius (Feb. 25th), born after 
he was made bishop. Gregory was intended for the bar, 
and was sent to study at Caesarea in Palestine, and then to 
Alexandria. He afterwards sailed for Athens to complete 
his education, fhd was nearly wrecked. In his alarm, he 
vowed to defer his baptism no longer. 

At Athens he made the acquaintance of S. Basil (June 
14th), and was also, in 355, a fellow pupil with Julian, 
afterwards emperor. In 356, Gregory left Athens and took 
Constantinople on his way home. There he found his 
brother Caesarius practising as a physician. On arriving 
at Nazianzus, Gregory was baptized by his father, and 
i^ 35^ joined S. Basil, in a solitude to which he had re* 
treated near the river Iris in Pontus, in to the call, 
of his friend. " I believe," wrote S. Basil to Gregory, " I 
have found at last the end of my wanderings ; my hopes of 
uniting myself with thee — my pleasing dream, I should 
rather say, for the hopes of men have been justly called 
waking dreams — have remained unfulfilled. God haa. 
caused me to find a place, such as has often hovered before 

126 Lives of the Saints. [May 9. 

fancy of us both ; and that which imagination showed us 
afar ofl^ I now see present before me. A high mountain, 
clothed with thick forest, is watered towards the north by 
fresh and everflowbg streams; and at the foot of the 
mountain extends a wide plain, which is rendered fruitful 
by these streams. The surrounding forest, in which grow 
many kinds of trees, shuts me in as in a strong fortress. 
This wilderness is bounded by two deep ravines ; on one 
side the river, dashing in foam from the mountains, forms 
a barrier hard to overcome ; and the other side is enclosed 
by a broad ridge of hills. . My hut is so placed on the 
summit of the mountain, that I overlook the extensive 
plain, and the whole course of the Iris, which is far more 
beautiful and abundant in water than the Strymon near 
Amphipolis. The river of my wilderness, which is the 
most rapid that I have ever seen, breaks over a jutting 
precipice, and throws, itself foaming into the deep pool 
below — to the mountain traveller an object on which he 
gazes with delight and admiration, and valuable to the 
native for the numerous fish it affords. Shall I describe 
to thee the fertilizing vapours that rise from the moist 
earth, and the cool breezes from the broken water? Shall 
I speak of the lovely singing of the birds, and the profusion 
of flowers ? What charms me most of all is the undisturbed 
tranquillity of the spot ; it is only visited occasionally by 
hunters ; for my wilderness feeds deer and herds of wild 
goats, not your bears and wolves. How should I exchange 
thi? nook for any other ? Alcmseon, when he had found the 
Echinades, would not wander further."^ "In this simple 
description of the landscape, and of the life of the forest," 
says Humboldt, in that beautiful chapter of his Cosmos in 
which he shows that Christianity opened the eyes of men 
to see the loveliness of creation, "there speak feelings 

1 Basil. M. Ep. 14 and 223. 

May 9.] 6*. GregoYy Nazianzen. 127 

more intimately allied to those of modem times than 
anything' that Greek or Roman antiquity has bequeathed 
to us." 

In after years, when the friends had been called to the 
painful toils of the episcopate, Gregory loved to recall to 
Basil the pleasant times when they had cultivated together 
the garden of their hermitage. "Who shall bring back 
to us," he wrote to his friend, "those days when we 
laboured together from morning till evening? When 
sometimes we cut wood, sometimes we hewed stone? 
when we planted and watered our trees, when we drew 
together that heavy wagon, the galls of which so >,long 
remained on our hands ? " ^ 

But Gregory was not long to enjoy this peaceful life. 
He was recalled by his father, then above eighty, to assist 
him in the government of his flock. He ordained him 
priest by force, on a great festival, probably the Epiphany, 
in 361. Gregory, full of grief, flew back to his solitude, and 
sought relief in the friendship of S. Basil; but there he 
began to reflect on his conduct, and remembering the 
punishment of Jonah for disobeying the command of God, 
after a ten weeks' absence returned to Nazianzus, where 
he preached his first sermon on Easter Day. This 
was followed by another, which was an apology for his 
flight, and which is extant and is placed first among his 

He was soon called upon to interfere in a matter of 
peculiar delicacy. The bishop, his father, hoping to effect 
an union of the Semi- Arians with the Catholics, had signed 
a compromise. This had alarmed the strictest of the 
Catholic party, who thereupon refused to communicate with 
the elder Gregory. The son, with great care, moderation, 
^nd at the same time firmness, healed this incipient schism ; 

^ Greg. Nazian. Ep. 9 and 13. 

128 Lives of the Saints. [May 9. 

and on the occasion of the re-union pronounced an oration 
which has been preserved to us. 

His brother Caesarius died in 369 and was buried at 
Nazianzus. S. Gregory preached his funeral oration, as 
he did also that of his sister Gorgonia, who died soon after. 

In 372 Cappadocia was divided by the emperor into 
two provinces, and Tyana was made the capital of 
Cappadocia the second. Anthimus, bishop of that city, 
thereupon laid claim to jurisdiction over this province. 
S. Basil, who was bishop of Caesarea and metropolitan of 
Cappadocia, maintained that the civil division of the 
province in no way affected his spiritual jurisdiction, and 
Basil thought it advisable to plant his friend in a new see 
which he determined to found at Sasima, in order to 
strengthen the see of Caesarea against the aggression of 
Anthimus. Sasima was a comfortless, unhealthy town, 
full of dust, at the meeting of three roads, noisy from the 
constant passage of travellers, the disputes with extortionate 
custom-house officers, and all the tumult and drunkenness 
belonging to a town inhabited by loose and passing 
strangers ; of all places the least fitted to be a home for 
the shrinking and sensitive Gregory. Regardless of 
Gregory's objections, Basil compelled him to receive 
consecration; he attempted to settle at Sasima, but was 
driven away by the violent Anthimus, who had [on one 
occasion stopped Basil's way home by a band of free- 

Gregory took up his abode at Nazianzus as his father's 
coadjutor ; and the unhappy result of the matter was that 
he never again felt thoroughly at home with Basil, and one 
of the most beautiful of Christian friendships was per- 
manently marred by a strong will on one side, and a lack 
of sympathy on the other. 

S. Gregory the elder, bishop of Nazianzus, died the 

May 9.]: S. Grcgory Nazianzen. 129 

following year, in 373, after an episcopate of forty-five years, 
and S. Gregory the younger continued for awhile to 
administer the diocese without assuming the episcopal 
title. But in 375, his health giving way, he withdrew to 
Seleucia, the capital of Isauria, where he continued five 
years. S. Basil died on the ist of January, 369, and 
Gregory composed in his memory twelve short poems. 
Eighteen days after S. Basil's death, the Emperor Gratian 
made Theodosius, the son of a general who had reconquered 
Britain, emperor of the East. Constantinople had been 
for nearly thirty-two years a domain of Arianism.. It was 
resolved to reclaim it by the ministry of Gregory of Nazian- 
zus, who was now living as a recluse at Seleucia ; and he 
consented, although with reluctance, to devote himself to 
this great work, '^ Since in Gkxi's providence he was abso- 
lutely compelled to be a sufferer."^ He went accordingly 
to Constantinople, and lodged in a kinsman's house. He 
was welcomed by the suffering remnant of Catholics with 
exceeding joy. The congregation was formed early in 379, 
and the house dedicated as "the Anastasia," the place where 
the true faith was to rise again. There Gregory exhibited 
before a population corrupted by heresy and irreverence^ 
the living energy of the Church as a spiritual body. Daily 
services were accompanied by eloquent preaching. " The 
worship of the Trinity" was the missionary's watchword. 
After earnestly warning his hearers against the miserable 
levity which, in conformity with the spirit of Arianism, was 
filling every place firom the forum to the supper-room,^ with 
fearless disputation on the most awful topics, he delivered 
the four great discourses on the Nicene faith^ which secured 
to him the title of Theologus, the maintainer, that is, of the 
Divinity of the Word.* But while proclaiming the Trinity, 

1 Ep. 14. • Or. xxxiii. 7. • Or. xxxiv.— xxxvil. 

« Iq Or. XXXV. z5, he speaks of the Blessed Virgin as Theotocos, "Mother of GodU" 
VOL. v. 9 

130 Lives of the Saints. [May 9, 

he was careful lo guard the Unity; he set forth the 
Catholic doctrine as the middle way between Sabellian 
confusion and Tritheistic severance. Yet the Arians de- 
nounced him as a Tritheist, stirred up mobs to pelt him in 
the street, and a base crowd of women, monks, and beggars 
to profane the Anastasia by their wanton insolence. He 
was content to be a mark for public scorn. *'They had the 
churches and the people, he had God and the angels ! 
They had wealth, he had the Faith; they menaced, he 
prayed ; his was but a little flock, but it was screened from 
the wolves, and some of the wolves might become sheep." 
Many such conversions took place ; the charm of Gregory's 
eloquence, the spiritual beauty of his character, the winning 
sweetness which was combined with his zeal for the truth, 
the conspicuous imworldliness which contrasted with Arian 
self-seeking, the profound reverence so different from Arian 
flippancy, could not be unimpressive even in Constantinople. 
His eloquence wrought wonders in the busy and versatile 
capital. The Arians themselves crowded to. hear him. 
S. Jerome came to Constantinople, listened with delight to 
Gregory's sermons, and conversed with him on passages of 
Scripture. Peter of Alexandria approved of his work, 
and united with others in the desire to see him regularly 
established in the see of Constantinople; but ere long, 
unhappily, he lent himself to the nefarious schemes of an 
unprincipled and plausible adventurer named Maximus, 
who retained the long hair, the staff, and the white dress of 
a Cynic philosopher, while professing to be a zealous Chris- 
tian. This man, who came to Constantinople with an in- 
tention of securing the bishopric, found it easy to win the 
confidence of one so childlike as Gregory. By assiduous 
attendance at his sermons, and profession of zeal and 
orthodoxy he had so completely imposed on him, that Gre- 
gory actually panegyrized him in open church, as having 

May 9] S. Gvegory Naziatizeiu 131 

suffered for the true religion. This was precisely what 
Maximus desired. Attention was attracted to him. Certain 
Egyptian bishops, deputed by Peter, the orthodox bishop 
of Alexandria, and seven Alexandrians of low birth, sud- 
denly enthroned Maximus in the night, whilst Gregory was 
ill, as Catholic bishop of Constantinople. 

A number of Egyptian mariners, probably belonging to 
the corn-fleet, had assisted at the ceremony, and raised the 
customary acclamations. They were driven out of the 
church next morning by the indignant multitude, and 
completed the ceremonial in a flute-player's house, cutting 
off at the same time the Cynic's long hair. He and they 
were obliged to leave Constantinople, for the Catholics 
a,dhered with unshaken fidelity to Gregory ; and he fled to 
the court of Theodosius, but the earliest measure adopted 
by the emperor to restore strength to the orthodox parly, 
was the rejection of the intrusive prelate. 

Early in 380, Theodosius, having fallen ill at Thessalo- 
nica, received baptism from its bishop, whose orthodoxy he 
had ascertained ; and he then addressed, on February 28th, 
an edict to the people of Constantinople, commanding all 
his subjects to observe the faith which S. Peter had delivered 
to the Romans, and which the Pope of Rome and the 
Patriarch of Alexandria then professed ; that faith which 
alone deserved the name of Catholic, and which recognized 
the one Godhead of Father, Son, and Spirit, of coequal 
majesty in the Holy Trinity. 

It was clear now that the power which had so long been 
in the hands of Arians was now passed into those of 
Catholics. " Let us never be insolent when the times are 
favourable," Gregory had already said to the faithful, 
delivered from the persecution of Julian ; " Let us never 
show ourselves hard to those who have done us wrong ; let 
us not imitate the acts which we have blamed. Let us 
rejoice that we have escaped from the peril, and abhor 

132 Lives of tlie Saints. [May 9. 

everything that tends to reprisals. Let us not think of 
exiles and prescription ; drag no one before the judge ; let 
not the whip remain in our hand ; in a word, do nothing 
like that which you have suflfered."^ 

Still he was subjected to "the scornful reproof of the 
wealthy." They jeered at his community. It was small 
and poor. Gregory admitted the fact, and inquired in 
righteous indignation, whether the sands are more precious 
than the stars of heaven, or the pebbles than pearls, 
because they are more numerous.^ 

The worldly and wealthy people of Constantinople 
objected to Gregory. There was nothing in him, they said, 
save the preaching faculty ; he was quite a poor man, low- 
bom, country-bred, with no dignity of manner and no 
power of conversation. He was out of his element in high 
society, seldom appeared in public, could not make himself 
agreeable, nor take his proper place among the citizens.* 
His gentleness, after all, was nothing but feebleness. To 
this bitter taunt Gregory replied,* tliat at any rate he had 
not been guilty of such outrages as had made up the 
vigorous administration of Arian bishops. Yet he felt that 
his temperament and habits were to some extent a dis- 
qualification for so tr3dng a post ; and was only dissuaded 
from resigning it by the passionate entreaties of his flock, 
including mothers and children, that he would not forsake 
them. After a day had been spent in contending against 
their loving urgency, Gregory yielded to the solemn 
remonstrance, " If you depart, the Faith departs with you."^ 
He consented to remain until a fitter man could be 

On the 24th of November Theodosius came to Con- 
stantinople, and proposed to Demophilus, the Arian bishop, 
that he should subscribe to the Nicene creed, and thereby 

* Orat. V. 36, 37, « Orat. xxv. » Drat. xxv. aS ; xxxii. 74. * Orat. xxv. 

* Carm. de ritae saa, 7$, 

May 9] S. Gregovy Naziajtzen. 133 

re-unite the people. He declined to do so, and profess 
faith in the Godhead of Christ, and was at once ordered to 
surrender the churches. He summoned his people, reminded 
them of the text which prescribed flight from persecution, 
and transferred their worship to ground outside the city. 

Till now Gregory had been only a Catholic bishop in the 
city. Theodosius resolved to exalt him to be the bishop 
of the city. Environed by the armed legionaries, in mili- 
tary pomp, accompanied by the emperor himself, Gregory, 
amazed and bewildered, was led to be enthroned in S. 
Sophia. All around he saw the sullen and menacing faces 
of the Arian multitude, and his ear caught their suppressed 
murmurs ; even the heavens, for the morning was bleak and 
cloudy, seemed to look down with cold indifference on the 
scene. No sooner, however, had Gregory, with the 
emperor, passed the rails which divided the sanctuary from 
the nave of the church, than the sun burst forth in all his 
splendour, the clouds dispersed, and the glorious light came 
streaming 'in on the gray bald-headed bishop, bowed, 
trembling with nervousness, and the applauding congre- 
gation. At once a shout of acclamation demanded the 
cnthronization of Gregory. But his nerves were so shaken 
by the excitement, and by having seen one man draw a 
sword against him, that he was obliged to depute a priest 
to address the people, " For the present our duty is to 
thank God; other matters may be reserved for another 
time." The words were received with the clapping of 
hands so common in that state of society, when the lively 
Greek temperament was too strong for Christian reverence. 

Gregory seldom visited the palace, and never exerted 
himself, after the manner of Arian prelates, by flattery 
and bribes, to secure the favour of chamberlains and 
courtiers. He was even blamed by his own people for 
remissness in using his influence on their behalf. He went 
on his own way, as a meek, unworldly pastor, preaching, 

134 Lives of the Saints. [May 9. 

praying, visiting the sick, never enriching himself, winning 
all hearts by single-hearted charity. One day his sick- 
chamber was thronged by affectionate adherents, who after 
thanking God that they had lived to see his episcopate, 
withdrew. A young man, pale and haggard, remained at 
the foot of the bed, in mournful silence, and in a suppliant 
attitude. "Who are you, and what do you want?" asked 
Gregory. The youth groaned bitterly, and wrung his hands. 
Gregory was moved to tears, and on learning from another 
person that this was the man who had sought his life, said 
to the weeping penitent, " God be gracious to you ; all I 
ask is, that henceforth you give up yourself to Him I" 

On Jan. loth, 381, Theodosius, by a second edict, forbade 
heretics, the Arians included by name, to hold assemblies 
within towns ; gave back all churches to Catholic bishops ; 
and assigned the Catholic name to all believers in the un- 
divided essence of the Trinity. Gregory perhaps wanted 
the firmness and vigour necessary for a prelate of the great 
metropolis, perhaps he disliked the high-handed dealing of 
the emperor, so much at variance with what he himself 
had advised in former years. Theodosius summoned the 
council of Constantinople; and Gregory, embarrassed by 
the multiplicity of affairs ; harassed by objections to the 
validity of his own election ; entangled in the feuds which 
arose out of the contested election to the see of Antioch,^ 
entreated, and obtained the reluctant assent of the bishops 
and the emperor to abdicate his dignity and to retire to his 
beloved privacy. He delivered in the Council his cele- 
brated Farewell.' He gave an account of his mission, 
and glorified God for the success which had attended it. 
Had not the little wrath been followed by the great mercy? 
Had not stumbling-blocks been removed from his path? 
Constantinople was now an " emporium " of the faith. It 
had a living and working Catholic Church, a venerable pres- 

Sce S. Mcletius, Feb. la. ' Orat. xxxii. 

May 9] 61 Gvcgory Naziauzeu. 135 

bytery, deacons and readers well ordered; a docile, zealous, 
and true-hearted people, who were ready to die for the 
worship of the Trinity. Something, at least, he had done 
" towards the weaving of this crown of glory : " and he 
could appeal, like Samuel, td their knowledge of his un- 
selfishness. But he was growing old and weak ; he could 
not wrestle with adversaries who ought to have been friends: 
he knew not that he had been expected to assume the state- 
liness of consuls and prefects, and he begged,' as a worn-out 
soldier, to receive the warrant of his discharge. Then, in a 
tone more loving and more pathetic, he bade farewell to the 
Anastasia, to the cathedral, to the other churches, to the 
sacred relics, to the episcopal throne, to the bishops and 
clergy who " ministered at the holy Table, approaching the 
approaching God;" to the "Nazarites," the widows, orphans, 
and poor ; the hospitals, the crowds who had attended his 
preaching, the Emperor and his Court, the city, the East 
and the West. "They lose not God who abandon their 
thrones ; rather, they win a throne above. Little children, 
keep the deposit; remember how I was stoned. The grace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." 

The vacant throne was speedily filled by the election of 
Nectarius. The people of Constantinople by choosing 
this man, and Theodosius by ratifying the appointment, 
showed why they had been to a great extent dissatisfied 
with Gregory.^ They did not want a bishop of genius or 
saintliness, but a well-born, dignified, and courteous gentle- 
man. Nectarius appears to have been this, and little more. 

Gregory retired into privacy. His retreat, in some 
degree disturbed by the interest which he took in the see 
of Nazianzus, gradually became more complete, till at 
length he withdrew into solitude, and ended his days ia 
that peace, which was not less sincerely enjoyed from his 

1 Sozomsn, vii. 8, says that Theodosius preferred Nectarius to the saintly 

136 Lives of the Saints. cMayg. 

experience of the cares and vexations of worldly dignity. 
Arianza, his native village, was the place of his seclusion ; 
the gardens, the trees, the fountains, familiar to his youth, 
welcomed his old age. There he ended his life, after two 
years divided between the hardest austerities of monastic 
life and the cultivation of poetry, which he continued to 
pursue, that .the pagans might not be left in sole possession 
of the palm of literature, and also to give a free course to 
the noble and delicate sadness of his soul. His graceful, 
melancholy, and sometimes sublime verses, have gained 
him a place almost as high as his profound knowledge of 
divine things ; and the monastic order may boast of having 
produced in him the father of Christian poetry, as well as the 
doctor who has merited the name of Theologian of the East 
His body was translated from Cappadocia to Constanti- 
nople in 950, and thence, before the fall of Constantinople, 
to Rome, where they now repose under an altar in the 
church of the Vatican. 


(7TH CENT.) 

[Many German and other Martyrologies. But there is great confusion, 
Beatus of Vendome being confounded with Beatns of Thun. Beatus of 
Vendome is said to have come into Gaul at a very early age, having been 
sent by S. Peter. But this is certainly a mistake of an early writer who 
found in some record that he had been sent by the Apostolic See, and 
so made his mission to be from the apostle himself. Beatus, the Swiss 
hermit, is certainly a different person, but the incidents of the life of the 
two Beati are attributed first to one, and then to the other. There seems 
every probability that S. Beatus of Thun was one of the companions of 
S. Gall.] 

It was on Whitsun evening, in the year 1868, that 
I visited the cave of S. Beatus, in the face of a precipice 
above the Lake of Thun, in Switzerland. 

May 9.] S. BcatUS. I37 

A more lovely walk cannot be conceived. The path 
scrambled along the edge of precipices overhanging the 
still, green lake, which reflected the glow of the evening in 
the sky overhead. Tufts of pinks clung to the rock, and 
bunches of campanula dangled their blue bells at dizzy 
heights over the still water. Yellow cistus, golden poten- 
tilla, and spires of blue salvia made glorious harmonies of 
colour in the little dells that sank in green grassy slopes 
to tiny coves where nestled cottages, and a gaily painted 
boat was moored. The cave of the saint is screened by a 
fir wood, clinging to the rock ledges. Its wide entrance 
was once walled up, so as to leave only a door and window, 
but the stones have fallen. The altar within is overthrown. 
Shortly after the so-called Reformation, crowds of pilgrims 
came, as in earlier times, to visit the cave of the apostle of 
this part of Switzerland, and the authorities of Berne were 
obliged in the interests of Zwinglianism, after having violently 
forced heresy on the reluctant peasants of Haslithal and 
Interlachen, to drive them away from the cave of their 
Apostle at the point of the spear. Now the cave is only 
visited by a few sight-seers. But at Lungem, on the nearest 
point of the Canton of Ob-walden, where the ancient faith 
still maintains its ground, loving hearts have built a little 
chapel dedicated to Beatus, and this is now visited by great 
crowds, who love to honour the memory of their apostle, on 
May 9th, in every year, when a sermon is preached by one 
of the Capuchin friars of Samen. 

Of the history of S. Beatus little is known, save that he 
came from Britain or Ireland, probably in company with 
S. Columbanus and S. Gall, and settled in this cave, 
whence, according to the popular legend, he expelled a 
monstrous serpent, and precipitated it into the lake. About 
30 feet below the mouth of the cave a large stream spouts 
out of the rock, and forming a fine cascade of 800 fee^ 


Lives of the Saints. 

[May 9. 

plunges into the still nairror of the lake, which it strews with 
bubbles. The sun set as I sat in the door of the hermit's 
cave ; and as I walked back to Unterseen, its orange fires 
fell and touched with flame every white and heaven 
aspiring peak ; and the spotless Jungfrau seated amidst a 
glorious company of mountain forms, each with its flaming 
brow, called up a thought of the events of that first Whitsun 
day, when — 

'* The fires that rushed on Sinai down 
In sudden torrents dread, 
Now gently light, a glorious crown. 
On every saintly head." 

May God in His mercy speedily send the kindling fires 
of faith into those fair districts of Switzerland, which now 
lie buried in the gloom of Zwinglian and Calvinist unbelieC 

May 9.] 61 CalepocHus & O titers. 139 

May 10. 

S. JoBj Prophet, in the land of U%, 

SS. Calepodius, P.m., Palmatius, Simplicic!:, Felix, Blanda, and 

Others, MM, at Rome, a.d. 322. 
SS. Alphius, Adelphus, and Cyrixus, MM. at Lentlni in Sicily, 
SS. GoRDiAN and Epimachl's, MM» at Rome, a.d. 352. 
SS. QuARTus and Quintus, MM, at Rome, 
S. Cataldus, B. pf Tarentum, 
S. CoMGALL, Ab, of Banchor in Ireland, a.d. 6oz. 
S. SoLANGiA, F.M. at Bourges, eire, a.d. 8S0. 
S. Isidore the Husbandman, (7. at Madrid, circ. a.d. 1130, 


(a.d. 222.) 

[Roman and other Latin Martyrologies. Authorities : — ^The Acts, which 
are, however, fabulous, form a part of those of S. Calixtus, and pretend to 
have been written by the Notaries of the Roman Church ; but they are 
forgeries. The account of S. Calepodius begins, "In the days of Macrinus 
and Alexander, a great fire occurred which consumed the south of the 
Capitol." Now Macrinus was killed in 218 and was suceeded by Helio* 
gabalus, who was murdered in 224, and then only was the boy Alexander 
invested with the purple. Moreover, the description given of Alexander,, 
his desiring the consul to persecute the Christians, is quite opposed to history. 
It is true that some Christians suffered at the beginning of his reign, but 
that was through the severity of Uipian the regent. In the Acts, however, 
it is Alexander himself who directs the persecution. Then again the 
consul at the time is Palmatius. There was no such consul at the time, and 
none of the name occur in the Fasti Consulares, so that the forgery is as 
clumsy as it is dishonest.] 

CCORDING to the very untrustworthy Acts, 
about the year 222 afire broke out in Rome, and 
the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus was so injured, 
that the golden hand of the idol was melted off.^ 
Alexander the Emperor consulted the augurs, who declared 

> History knows nothing of this Bre. 

140 Lives of the Saints. [May 10. 

that the cause of this disaster was the presence of Christians 
in the city. Thereupon Alexander ordered the city to be 
purified of them, and that they should be punished with the 
utmost rigour. The consul Palmatius, at the head of a band 
of soldiers, penetrated into the catacombs, and captured a 
priest, Calepodius. Soon after, a virgin in one of the heathen 
temples, possessed by a demon, and regarded by the people 
of Rome as an oracle, cried out that the God of the 
Christians was the only true God. Thereupon the Consul 
Palmatius believed and went to pope Calixtus, and asked 
to be baptized. Calixtus made him lay aside his garments 
and descend into the font, and then he put to him the 
following liturgical questions : — "Dost thou believe with all 
thy heart in God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things 
visible and invisible." He answered, " I believe." " And 
in Jesus Christ His Son." " I believe." " And in the Holy 
Ghost, the Catholic Church, the remission of sins, the 
resurrection of the flesh?" And he answered, "Lord, I 
believe."^ Then the pope poured water over him and 
baptized him in the name of the Trinity. After this 
Palmatius converted a friend, Simplicius, a senator, and 
healed Blanda, the sick wife of a certain Felix, both of whom, 
professing their faith in Jesus Christ, were baptized by Ca- 
lixtus. All these were apprehended, and having withstood 
all promises, flattery, and the pangs of cruel torture, were 
finally taken out of the city and beheaded, and the body of 
Calepodius was cast into Uie Tiber, but having been caught 
in the nets of some fishermen, was brought to the pope, who 
buried it in a catacomb. 

^ This form of the Baptismal Creed stamps {the composition as later than the 
days of S. Gregory the Great (d. 604), for previously it was briefer, and then were 
introdoccd '* Maker of Heaven and Earth/' and the word <* Catholic" as qualifying 
the Chnrch. The form in the Sacramentary of Gclaslos (d. 49 j) is without these 
SecMoratori '* Liturgia Romana.' 


Mayio.] S. Gordtan & Epimaclms. 141 


(a.d. 362). 

[Roman Martyrology. By the Greeks the Translation of the body of 
S, Epimachus to Constantinople on March nth. Authority :— The Acts, 
which, however, are not trustworthy, as they make the martyrs suffer at 
Rome after interrogation before Julian the Emperor. Now it is certain that 
Julian never was at Rome during his brief reign. J 

GoRDiAN was a magistrate (vicarius) of Julian the Apos- 
tate, and was sent by the emperor to visit a Christian priest, 
named Janisarius, who was imprisoned for his faith, and 
endeavour to make him abjure Christ. But the result of 
the interview was the conversion of Gordian. Gordian was 
degraded from his office, and was cruelly martyred. His 
body was buried by a servant in the same tomb as S. 
Epimachus, a martyr of Alexandria, which had been brought 
to Rome in the previous reign. The Greeks claimed to 
have had the bones of S. Epimachus translated from Rome 
to Constantinople. But the relics of both saints are now 
in the abbey of Kempten in Bavaria. 

(a.d. 601.) 

[Irish Martyrolog^es and Aberdeen Breviary. Authority : — ^Two lives, the 
first of little importance ; the second, in Irish, a valuable one.] 

S. C CMC ALL, or, as he is more properly called, Coemgall 
(the goodly-pledge), was of a distinguished family of 
Dalriadha. His father's name was Sedna, and his mother's 
Briga. According to the annals of Ulster he was bom in 
the year 516. He early embraced the monastic life under 
a master of very relaxed morals. Comgall one night 
took his master's tunic, threw it into the sheep-fold and 

142 Lives of the Saints. [May 10. 

trampled it in the dung. Next morning the master asked 
him the reason, with some justifiable indignation. ^'AVhy 
care you for your gown, when your soul is more sullied 
even than that?" asked the boy, and the master hid his 
face in shame. Then he ran away from him^ and placed 
himself under the direction of S. Fintan. at Clonenagh in 
Linster. Another story told of his youth is as follows : — 
Much against his wish he was forced to appear in arms 
under his liege prince in a war. It was winter-time, and 
the army encamped on a bleak moor for the night. Great 
flakes of snow fell, and covered the shivering warriors, the 
wind drifting it over the temporary huts thrown up to 
screen them from the cold. But it was noticed that no 
snow fell over the unsheltered Comgall, but that in the 
morning a wall of snow stood round him protecting him 
from the northern ice-laden blast. 

After having completed his instruction under S. Fintan,^ 
Comgall set out for his own country to found cells there. 
Comgall had been hitTierto unwilling to enter into holy 
orders \ but it is said that, before proceeding straight to 
Dalriadha, he turned aside to Clonmacnois, and was or- 
dained priest by a Bishop Lugid. On his arrival in Ulster 
he retreated with several disciples to an island in Lough 
Erne, where they lived with such severity that seven of his 
companions died of hunger and cold. Bishop Lugid 
remonstrated with him on the plea of Christian charity, 
and Comgall relaxed his rule for the benefit of the monks, 
though he observed it in all its rigour himself. We are 
told that he intended to leave Ireland, and spend the 
remainder of his days in Britain, but was dissuaded by the 
pressing solicitations of Bishop Lugid. Comgall then 
founded the monastery of Banchor, now Bangor, on the 

^ Fintan, if we are to believe what his Acts say, that he was younger than S« 
Columba, must also hare been younger than his pupil Comgall. 

Mayio.] S. CovtgalL 143 

shores of the Irish sea facing Britain,^ in the year 559. 
For the direction of this monastery he drew up a rule, 
which was long reverenced in Ireland. The number of 
disciples who flocked to Banchor was so great that, as one 
place could not contain them, it became necessary to 
establish several monasteries and cells, in which, taken 
together, if was computed that there were three thousand 
monks, all observing his rule, and superintended by him. 
Amongst them is mentioned Cormac, king of South 
Leinster or Hy-Kinselagh, who in his old age retired to 

In a certain time of scarceness, says the legend, the 
monks were sorely in want of food. Now in the neigh- 
bourhood lived a nobleman named Croadh, who had his 
granaries full. And the mother of Croadh was hight Luch, 
which being interpreted, means " the Mouse." So Coragall 
took a silver goblet that had been given to him, and went 
before Croadh and said, " Give me and my monks of your 
corn, and I will give thee this cup." But the chief answered 
scofling, " Not so ; keep your silver, and I will keep my 
com. Your beggarly followers shall not devour it; I want 
it all for my old Mouse," thereby meaning his venerable 
mother. Then said Comgall, " As thou hast said, so shall 
it be," and he went away. Then came a legion of mice 
into the granary of the hard-hearted chief, and devoured 
all his com.^ 

lit is now only a village on the shore of 4he Bay of Belfast, without the slightest 
Tcstige of the famous monastery. 

• An Irish version of the Bishop Hatto myth. Here is another story :— *' Quadan* 
die cum ibi esset S. Comgallus in quodam loco solus, expandebat manus suas ad 
caelum, post jejunium trium dierum iassus et sitiens. et salivas in pavimentum 
projiciebat: vir enim mirse abstinentiae erat S. Comgallus. Et eccc elevans 
sanctus vultum suum sursum in coelum, quidam leprosus mendicus petens auxi- 
Hum venit ad eum tacite, vidensque salivas sancti super terram, perrexit paulatim* 
etde pavimento eas collegit, et commiscuiteas in aqua, lavansque se inde, plenus 
iide, statim e lepra sua sanatus est." 

144 Lives of the Saints. [Mayw, 

The reputation of the monastery of Banchor was much 
enhanced by the celebrity of some eminent men who 
issued from it, especially S. Columbanus, one of the 
greatest men of his age, so that the fame of Banchor spread 
far and wide throughout all Europe. It is said that in the 
seventh year after the foundation of Banchor, Z.^., in 566, 
Comgall went to Britain and established a monastery at a 
place called Heth.^ It is not unlikely that it was on this 
occasion that he paid a visi^ together with S. Brendan, to 
S. Columba, in the Western Isles. He is said to have 
contributed to the conversion of Brideus, king of the 
Northern Picts. Having returned to Ireland, he continued 
to govern his monastery and its dependencies till his death, 
which occurred on the loth of May, a.d. 601, after he had 
received the holy viaticum from S. Fiachra, abbot of 
Congbail and afterwards of Clonard. 

A few of the strange and grotesque stories which have 
attached themselves to this saint may be read with amuse- 
ment. One day S. Columba was dining with S. Comgall, 
when the former, pointing to a seat at the board, asked 
whose it was. "That is our cook's place," said Comgall. 
"But a devil is now occupying it," said Columba. "Wait 
till the cook returns and finds some one in his chair, and 
see what he does." Presently in came the cook, and find- 
ing his seat occupied, rushed up to the intruder, and 
knowing him at once to be a demon, with flaming eyes 
exclaimed, "You wretch of a devil, what are you doing 
here? Be off on the spot (alioquin tu profer modo)!"* 
Then he banished him to the bottom of the sea. ''And 
all were highly edified." 

Comgall .sent a bell to his nephews at a distance by the 
hand of an angel. We have already heard of one marvel 

1. Probably Hythe, but not any place so called now. Hythe means in Keltic a 
bank or shore; and many places may have borne that name in the 6th cent 

May 10.] S. Solangia. 145 

wrought by his saliva. Here are others. A beggar once 
importuned the saint, then Comgall spat into his pocket, 
and the saliva was instantly converted into a gold ring. A 
king was very hard of heart, and no exhortations of the 
saint could melt him. Then Comgall spat at a great stone, 
and split it into quarters ; thereupon the king burst into 
tears of penitence. 

One story alone is pretty. He and some of his monks 
were walking by the side of a lake, when they saw swans 
floating on the mere, singing. " O, father I may we coax 
the swans?" asked the monks. He gave them leave. 
Then they felt for some crusts of bread ; but not finding 
them, knew not how to entice the birds. But Comgall 
called, and the swans sailed up to the bank, and one 
fluttered into the old man's lap, and let him stroke its 
white feathers. 


(about A.D. 844.) 

[Galilean Martyrologies. Patroness of Bourges. Authority : — The 
lessons for the festival based on tradition in the Bourges Breviary.] 

SoLANGiA,was a poor shepherdess of Villemont, near 
Bourges, young and very beautiful, and as' simple and 
modest as she was fair.* According to the popular legend 
she was so pious that a star was given her to twinkle above 
her head, brightening at the hour of prayer. Her beauty 
attracted the attention of Bernard, son of the Count of 
Poitiers,^ and he sought opportunity to deceive her. One 

' The legend in no way contradicts history, Bernard and Herve were the sons of 
Resinald, Count of Poitiers, killed in battle against the King of Brittany and the 
Count of Nantes, in 843. Herve became Count of Auvergne, and Bernard Count of 
Poitiers. Both were killed in battle against the same Count of Nantes, in 84^. 
Herve left as successor Raymond I., and a son Stephen, who was'killed by the 

VOL. V. 10 

146 Lives of ike Saints. [Mayxo. 

day he found her on a moor pasturing her sheep quite 
alone. He dismounted from his horse, and attempted to 
dazzle her by flattery and specious promises. But when 
Solangia found what his designs were, she started from the 
stone on which she had been sitting, and ran away. He 
pursued her, and mounting his horse, threw her over the 
saddle in front of him, and attempted to carry her off to 
his castle. The girl struggled desperately, and managed 
to fall from the horse, and was injured. Bernard leaped 
down, and his love having given way to violent anger, or 
fearing that his attempt at abduction would arouse the 
country, he being then in the territories of his uncle, he 
despatched her with his hunting knife. 

Solangia is represented either carrying her head in her 
hands, or with a hunting knife thrust into her throat, and 
with sheep at her side and a star above her head. 

Some of her relics at S. Solange, Bourges, Mery-bs-Bois 
and Nevers. 

S. ISIDORE, C. /^ 

(about A.D. 1 1 30.) 

[Canonized by Pop^' Gregory XV. in 1622. Roman and Spanish Mar- 
tyrologies. The Bollandists on May 15. Authority : — His life written in 
the year 1261, an amplification and continuation of an earlier life. This 
life was again added to in 1275. The additions are miracles wrought at 
the tomb or by the intercession of the saint.] 

The. traveller, visiting Madrid on May 15th, would find 
the city keeping high festival. Church bells ringing, the 
streets lined with tapestries and coloured curtains, banners 
streaming, and a procession winding through the streets 

Normans In 886, and left no snccessor. Bernard left a son Bernanl, the murderer 
of Solangia, who was Count of Poitiers, and also of Anvergne, after the death of 
his brother Stephen. He was killed in 886 in a battle against Boso, King <^ 

Mayio. S. Isidore. 147 

with military band, and ctoss and lights and song of clergy. 
Why this joyous festival ? the traveller would ask ; and he 
would be told that the capital was observing the feast of 
its patron. And who is the patron of this royal city, the 
capital of great Spain ? A king, a prelate, a doctor ? No I 
only a poor ploughman. God '' taketh up the simple out 
of the dust : and lifteth the poor out of the mire; that he 
may set him with the princes : even with the princes of his 
people." (Ps. cxiL 7, 8; A.V. cxiii. 6, 7.) 

The story of this good man is short and very simple. It 
is merely that of a deyout peasant serving God faithfully 
in that condition of life to which God had called him.. 
The Church, to show models to all in every condition of 
life, has enrolled in her sacred calendar the servant girl 
Veronica of Milan, the shepherd Wendelin, the beggar 
Cuthman, and the ploughman Isidore, as well as saintly 
kings, wise prelates, learned doctors and valiant martyrs. 

Isidore was a day-labourer in the employment of a 
gentleman of Madrid, engaged on his farm outside the 
town. He was a hard-working faithful servant, yet he did 
not escape the voice of slander, and he was accused to his 
master of coming late to his work in the mornings on 
account of his ^ oing early into Madrid to attend Mass in 
one of the churches. His master sent for him and charged 
him with it. **Sir," said the simple ploughman, "it may 
be true that I am later at my work than some of the other 
labourers, but I do my utmost to make up for -the ityr 
minutes snatched for prayer; I pray you compare my 
work with theirs, and if you find I have defrauded you in 
the least, gladly will I make amends by paying you out of 
my private store." The gentleman was ashamed and said 
nothing ; nevertheless he was not satisfied, and one morn- 
ing he rose before daybreak to watch for himself and see 
if Isidore was really late at his work. He hid himself 

1^8 Lives of the Saints. [Mayia 

beside the farm, and saw the steady peasant go to church 
as the first pale streaks of light appeared in the east, and 
he returned to his work certainly after the other workmen 
had gone to theirs. The master saw him enter the field 
and take the plough, and he left his retreat that he might 
rate him soundly. But suddenly he stood still. In the 
field was a second plough, drawn by white oxen, urged on 
by an angel. He saw it in the slant rays of the rising sun 
through the thin vapours rising from the dewy soil. Up 
the field and 'then down again went the strange team 
cutting a clean furrow and cutting it rapidly. Then the 
gentleman ran towards the field; but as he opened the 
gate the vision disappeared, and he saw Isidore bowed 
upon his plough, and his little son running by the head of 
the red oxen. Then he went to him and asked him who 
were his assistants. "Sir!" said Isidore in surprise, *'I 
work alone and know of none save God to whom I look 
for strength." 

Now this Isidore was a man of a very kind heart, and 
he never omitted doing an act of kindness when the oppor- 
tunity offered; and though he was poor, and could not 
give much to the needy, what he did give was given 
without grudging and with so much sympathy and readi- 
ness, that to the recipient it was worth more than the gift 
of mainy a rich man. One pretty instance of this charity 
is told, to show that it extended to the dumb creation as 
well as to men. One morning when the snow was spark- 
ling- on the ground and the trees and hedges were covered 
with hoar frost, he set out to the mill with a sack of corn, 
his wife's gleanings, that he wished to have ground. 
Presently he passed a tree on which a number of wood- 
pigeons were sitting, whilst others fluttered over the glisten- 
ing surface of the snow vainly searching for food. " Stop," 
called Isidore to his boy, who was leading the ass that 

May 10.] S. Isidore, 149 

I ^ , I - - ' II I r 

bore the sack. He cast the sack down, opened it, took out 
a good double handful of wheat, strewed it before the 
delighted birds, and lifting the sack on the back of the ass, 
went on to the mill. 

His wife Mary was a virtuous and pious woinan, and 
loved to accompany her husband to the churches and on 

At length he died, reverenced and beloved by all the 
neighbourhood, at the age of forty, and was buried in the 
cemetery of S. Andrd, a church he was wont to frequent, 
but was speedily afterwards taken up and brought into the 
church, and then, we are told, all the bells of the church 
rang untouched by human hands. 

150 Lives of the Sainis. [Mayir. 

May 11. 

S. EvELLius, M. at Rome, circ, a.d. 6^.^ 

S. A.vTHiMius, P.M. at Rome, ^th cent. 

S. Mamertius, B, etf Fienne, cire. a.d. 4S0. 

SS. VValbert, and Bcrtilla, at Courtsobre in h'ainault, c'tre, a.d. 619. 

& Gengulf M. at Farennes, circ, a.d. 7S0. 

S« Fremuxo, K.M, at Harbury in fFdr-wickshire, circ, a.d. 79$. 

S. Majolus, ^b. at Cluny, a.d. 994. 

S. Walter Ab. of Lesterpes, near Lin\pges, a.d, lO^o. 

S. Fran'Cis of Girolamo, S.J. at Grotaglia, a.d. 1716. 


(about A.D. 480.) 

[Some copies of the Martyrology attributed to S. Jerome, Notker^ 
Gallican and Roman Martyrologies. The translation of his body on Oct» 
13th, and of his head on Nov. 14th, in the diocese of Orleans, Authority: 
— A homily of S, Avitus, his spirittial son.] 

[AINT MAMERTIUS, bishop of Vienne in 
Gaul, is chiefly famous for having instituted the 
Rogation processions. Gaul was groaning and 
bleeding from the incursion of the barbarians, 
the Goths and Huns. Vienne had been shaken repeatedly 
by earthquakes, flames had burst from the hill-tops and 
consumed large tracts of forest, and driven the wolves and 
bears into the city. Added to these disasters came a 
conflagration of Vienne, which broke out on Easter n'ght 
S. Mamertius, prostrate before the altar, conceived the 
idea of instituting annually a procession with litanies and 
psalms and prayers, before Ascension, to supplicate God 
to have mercy on His people, and to turn from them their 
afflictions, and to bless their crops during the year. " We 
shall pray God," says he in a sermon,' "that he will 

1 Converted by the sight of the passion of S. Torpes (May x7th.) 
*The sermon is fonnd among those of Eusebius of Em^sa, but it is generally^ 
attributed to S. Mamertius. 


Mayiio S. Gengidf. 151 

turn away the plagues from us, and preserve us from all 
ill, from the pestilente, the hailstorm, the drought, the 
fury of our enemies; to give us favourable seasons, that 
our bodies may enjoy health, and our lands fertility, and 
that we may have peace and tranquillity, and obtain pardon 
for our sins/' Processions with litanies and psalms hid 
been in use before, but never before fixed for the Rogation 
season. S. Mamertius built a church at Vienne in honour 
of S. Ferreolus the martyr. He was at the council of Aries 
in 475, and died probably in 477. His brother Claudianus 
Mamertius, who died between 470 and 474, was a monk, 
and was distinguished for his sacred poetry. He composed 
the world-famous hymn 

" Pange lingua, gloriosi 
Lauream certaminis." ^ 

commonly but erroneously attributed to Venantius Fortu- 

The body of S. Mamertius was translated to Orleans, but 
was burnt by the Huguenots in the i6th century. 

(about a.d. 760) 

[Roman, Liege, and Prague Martyrologies, Cologne Martyrology on 
May 13th, that of Utrecht on May 9th, Brussels, Tournai, and Bruges 
Breviaries on October 12th. Authorities : — ^A metrical life by Roswylha 
(d. cca 984), but this is based on the "Vita S. Genulphi," written abjiit 
9T5. This life was written after the Norman incursions, in which the ear!y 
monuments were destroyed, consequently the writer was obliged to rely 
on popular tradition, Gengulf or Gengulphus is in French Cen^oul, or 
^Gingud, in English Gingo^ and in German Golf.'\ 

The story of S. Gengulf is sadly obscured by fable, but it 
is not difficult to distinguish the facts of his history from 
the romantic as well as the coarse additions which have 

* " Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle/* Hymn for Passion Sunday. 

152 Lives of the Saints. [Mayn, 

been made to it by popular fancy, in its transmbsion from 
mouth to mouth, through one hundred and fifty years. 

He is said to have been a nobleman of Burgundy, high 
in favour with Pepin the Short, whom he accompanied in 
his wars. The king highly valued him for his integrity and 
for his valour, and when engaged in war made him sleep in 
his tent, as his trustiest friend and guard. One night, says 
the legend, the lamp that hung in the tent above the head 
of Gengulf kindled of itself. The king rose from his bed, 
and blew it out, but almost instantly it kindled again. 
He blew it out again, and again it rekindled, and when this 
was repeated the third time, Pepin felt satisfied that the 
circumstance was not without its significance, and that it 
portended the sanctity of the sleeper beneath. 

A stranger stoiy is that he bought a beautiful spring of 
water at Bassigny, and on reaching his castle at Varennes, 
he struck his sta£f into the ground, and forthwith the foun- 
tain boiled up there^ leaving its source at Bassigny dry. 
This is no doubt a popular tradition made to account for 
the drying up of one spring and the bursting out of another. 
It is, however, by no means improbable that Gengulf 
may have sunk a well and tapped a copious spring at 

Gengull's wife was false to him ; when he was absent at 
court, or with the army, she associated with a man whom 
she passionately loved. Rumours of his wife's infidelity 
reached Gengulf, and instead of dealing rigorously with 
her, he drew her one day into the garden, and very tenderly 
mentioned to her what he had heard, expressed his pain at 
receiving such evil reports, and his readiness to disbelieve 
if she would satisfy him with frankness, that they were 

1 A chapel was ballt over this fountain, which welled op in the crypt. The 
chapel is now a private bouse, the ciypt a cellar, and the spring of water has been 
drained off. 

May 111 *$*. Gengulf. 153 

without foundation. She indignantly denied the charge of 
infideUty. "Well, my wife," said Gengulf, according to 
the popular story, " here is this clear cold" fountain, thrust 
in thine arm. If thou art innocent it will n6t hurt thee. 
If thoii art guilty God shall judge." She plunged in her 
arm, and was scalded. 

Then Gengulf separated from her, but still he would not 
put in force the severe laws against adulteresses, but rather 
hoped to reclaim her, at least to penitence, by his gentle- 
ness. He gave her one of his estates, and allotted to her 
a comfortable annual revenue. He had loved and trusted 
her, and now his heart broke, and he lived a grave, sqid, 
retired life, praying with many tears for himself, and for 
her who had been his wife, and distributing large alms to 
the poor. 

The wicked woman could not endure the restraint of 
being still nominally the wife of Gengulf and she and her 
paramour determined to make away with him, that they 
might marry, and take his large possessions. Accordingly 
one night the adulterer contrived to enter the castle^ of the 
man he had injured, to penetrate into his bed-chamber, 
where he found him sleeping, with his sword hung above 
his bed. The murderer took down the sword, and pre- 
pared to strike. At the same moment Gengulf opened his 
^y^^ and threw up his arm, so that the sword glanced 
aside and wounded him on the thigh. The murderer 
threw down the weapon, and escaped before Gengulf could 
give the alarm. The wound, however, was mortal, and he 
clied shortly aftei; on May iith.^ 

The body was brought by his aunts Wiltrudis and 

1 Gengalf was then ia his castle of Arallon on the Cussin, between Auxenre 
and Antun. 

s It is impossible, even in Latin, to give the account of the miraculous 
punishments inflicteJ on the marderer and the wife. 

154 Lives of t fie Saints. cMayrr. 

Wilgisa to Varennes; but was afterwards translated to 
Langres, where some few fragments saved from the 
Revolutionary fury remain. Others at Florennes, near 


(CIRC. A.D. 796.) 

[Additions to Usuardus and Anglican Martyrologies. Authority :— A 
Ije^end given by Capgrave.j 

S. Fremund is said to have been a prince, the son of 
OfTa, king of the Mercians (d. 794), and to have fought 
against the Danes. He was murdered by Oswy, an officer 
of his father, perhaps at the instigation of Cenwulf. But 
there is no certainty about this. Fremund is not men- 
tioned by any chroniclers ; Offa was succeeded by his son 
Egfrid, who only reigned a year and a hundred and forty 
days, and was succeeded by Kenulf, or Cenwulf. 

(a.d. 994.) 

[Roman and Benedictine Martjrrologies, but some on May 4tb, or 
April i4tb. Authority :— A life written by Nalgod, his disciple. Majolus 
in French is MayeuW\ 

S. Majolus was bom about the year 906, of a wealthy 
family at Valenzola, in the diocese of Riez. But having 
lost all his family possessions through the incursions of the 
Saracens and Huns, he retired to Macon to his uncle 
Bemo, bishop of that city, who constituted him his arch- 
deacon. He afterwards became monk at Cluny, under the 
abbot Aymard. 

The aged Aytnard, oppressed with years, was at length 

May 1 1.1 .Sl MajoluS. 1 55 

^ 1 - ■ I ' Ml ■ MM^^ ■ |_ ^_^L_^ 

obliged to surrender the government of the abbey into the 
hands of S. Majolus (948.) But the old man in the 
infirmary, having one day fancied a bit of cheese, and 
ordered ineffectually that it should be brought to him, took 
it into his head that he was neglected, and he suddenly 
resumed his authority, and put Majolus to penance. » In 
fact the old man had asked for his piece of cheese when 
the monks were at dinner, and the serving brothers had 
their hands full of work, so that it was impossible to attend 
to his caprice at that moment. However, Aymard, finding 
that he was really unable to do the work required of an 
abbot, and satisfied that Majolus was not really neglectful 
of him and desirous of usurping his dignity, returned to 
inaction, and on his death Majolus was elected abbot. 

On his way to Rome, a monk who was accompanying 
him, disobeyed him in an important matter, and afterwards 
apologized and asked pardon. " And set me a penance 
for my fault,/' he asked. "Are you in earnest, my son?" 
asked the abbot " I am," answered the monk. "Then," 
said Majolus, " Go and kiss yon poor leper." The monk 
went at once to the leper and embraced him. The 
obedieut kiss healed the leper. 

On his way back from Rome, as he crossed the S. 
Bernard, Majolus was taken by the Saracens and imprisoned 
at Pont-Oursier, on the Dranse above Martigny. Seeing a 
Saracen about to cleave the head of one of his companions 
with his scimitar, Majolus sprang forward, and caught the 
blow on his arm. He saved the life of his comrade, but 
long suffered from the wound, and bore the scar to his 
dying day. He was shut up in a cave, and the only book 
he had to while away the tedious hours of captivity was a 
treatise on the Assumption of the Virgin, falsely attributed 
to S. Jerome. This interested S. Majolus so much that he 
prayed he might be released before the feast of the 

1^6 Lives of .the Saints.- iM^yn. 

Assumption. His prayer was heard, he was ransomed by 
the monks of Cluny for a thousand pounds of silver. 
_When the Holy See was vacant in 974, the emperor 
Otho II. endeavoiured to persuade S. Majolus to accept the 
papacy, but he steadfastly refused the proffered honour. 
In 991, feeling that his powers were exhausted, he chose S. 
Odilo (Jan i) to be his successor, and he was unanimously 
elected by the brethren. 

Majolus died on the nth May, 994, on Friday the 
morrow of the Ascension, and was buried in the church of 
S. Peter at Cluny. .His body was translated in 1096, by 
Pope Urban II. to Souvigny, and again under Honorius IV. 
in 1286. The relics of S. Majolus were burnt at the 
French Revolution, and all that remains of him at Souvigny 
is a comb. 

» . (a.d. 1 7 16.) 

[Roman Martyroloigy. Beatified by Pope Pius VII., in z8o6, and 
canonized by Gregory XVI., in 1837.] 

S. Francis of Hieronimo, or of Girolamo, was bom 
the 1 6th of December, 1643, at Grottaglia, in the province 
of Otranto, in the kingdom of Naples. He was the eldest 
of twelve children, who distinguished themselves in after- 
life by their virtues. Francis especially made himself re- 
markable from his earliest childhood by his fervour. He 
received the tonsure at the age of sixteen, and was ordained 
priest at Naples in 1666, and he joined the Society of Jesus 
in 1682. His life was spent in fervent mission work among 
the people of Naples, and was the means of converting 
innumerable sinners. His heart glowed witli a consuming 
fire of zeal for the salvation of souls. One night he felt a 

May IX.] 

S. Francis. 


call to go to the comer of a street and preach. He went 
forth in the dark night, and standing at the windy corner, 
in the deserted street, preached. Next day a poor woman 
came weeping to his confessional, a woman living in sin, 
who had heard through her window the words of life. 
There is little of stirring incident in his career ; but he was 
one of the most loving missionaries to sinful souls the 
Church has reared. 

158 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi«; 

May 12. 

SS. Nereus, Achilles,. and Flavia Domitilla, MM, at Terracina, 

jst cent, 
S. Pancras, M. at Rome,A;D, 304. 
S. Philip of Agyra, P. irkSieilyf^th cent. 
S. Epiphanius, B. cf StUamis, a.d. 402. 
S. Modoald, j4bp, q/" Treves, circ, a.d. 640. 
S. RiCTRUDis, Abss, of Marehiennes, circ. a.d. $88. 
S. Germain, Patr. qf Constantinople, circ, a.d. 732. 
S« DoM iKic OF Caezada, C* in Castillef a.d. 1109. 


(iST CENT.) 

[Roman Martyrology. S. Flavia Domitilla also on May 7th. SS, 
Nereus and Achilles in most ancient Latin Martyrologies. Authority :— 
Eusebius, Lib. iii., c. 18. The Acts are manifestly full of fable and are a 
late fabrication.] 

jUSEBIUS the historian says:— "In the fifteenth 
year of Domitian, for professing Christ, Flavia 
Domitilla, the niece of Flavins Clemens, one of 
the consuls of Rome at that time, was transported 
with many others, by way of punishment, to the island of 
Pontia." Nereus and Achilles, are in the Acts said to 
have been two eunuchs.^ They were beheaded atTerracina, \t 
we may so far trust these Acts. Flavia Domitilla is also 
said to have been burnt alive. But no reliance can be placed 
on the Acts. As a specimen of the absurdities it contains, is 
a story of a contest between Simon Magus and S. Peter, 
in which the former was defeated, and to escape the jeers 
of the people, transformed himself into a dog and ran 
away. Then he brought a very fierce hound to a friend of 

> An anachronism ; eunuchs were not introduced into Roman famUies tlU the 
Tcign of Domitian. 

May 12.] S. Pancras. 159 

S. Peter, and chained it up at his door, hoping that the beast 
would rend the Apostle, but on the appearance of S. Peter 
the hound became docile. Then the Apostle loosed him ; 
but forbade him to bite the flesh of Simon Magus. There- 
fore the dog contented itself with rending oflf all the clothes 
of the sorcerer, to the infinite amusement of the people in 
the street and the confusion of Simon. 

The festival of SS. Nereus and Achilles was kept at 
Rome with great solemnity in the 6th century, for S. 
Gregory tbe Great has a homily on this festival. 

The relics of SS. Nereus and Achilles are preserved in 
the church of their title at Rome. Before the Revolution, 
at Limoges, were some of S. Domitilla. Also, now in the 
parish church of Satilien, in the diocese of Viviers. But the 
college of S. Vitus at Elwangen claims to possess the body 
of S. Flavia Domitilla, and asserts it to have been given 
by Pope Hadrian I. 

Garraye, anciently Numantia, in Spain, also claims to 
possess the bodies of SS. Nereus and Achilles. The heads 
of SS. Nereus and Achilles are pretended to be shown at 
Ariano near Benevento. Laige portions of the bones 
also at Douai, in the church of S. Peter, and at Bertin 
near S. Omer; also at Bologna, and at the church of 
£• Zacharias at Venice. 

(A.D. 304.) 

[Roman Martyrology. In the most ancient copies of the Roman Martyr- 
ology, called that of S. Jerome, with SS. Nereus and Achilles. Also all 
Western Martyrologies. Authority :— The Acts, not altogether trustworthy, 
and certainly not very ancient, for they contain a grievous anachronism, they 
^niake S. Pancras to be baptized by S. Cornelius, a.d. 251. The Bollan- 
dists conjecture that this may be an error of a scribe who wrote Cornelius 


1 60 Lives of tJie Saints. [Mayw. 

instead of Cains (d. 296), but this is hardly probable. Had the name oc- 
curred once, such a mistake might have been made, but not when it recurs 
^x times. There is nothing improbable in the narrative, but the style and 
the anachronism point out unmistakeably the lateness of the composition 
of the Acts, which perhaps date from the 6th century.] 

S. Pancras was the son of Cleon and Cjrriada, a wealthy 
and noble couple in S3mrada in Phrygia. Cyriada died 
whilst her son was quite young, and Cleon followed her 
soon after. Before his death he entrusted Pancras to the 
care of his brother Dionysius, adjuring him by all the 
gods to take care of the child.^ Dionysius moved with his 
nephew to Rome, and took a house on the Caelian hill. 
There they became acquainted with the bishop of Rome, 
who baptized them. A few days after his baptism^ 
Dionysius died. 

The persecution of Diocletian was then raging. Pancras, 
then aged fourteen, was denounced, and was executed with 
the sword, and buried on the Aurelian way by a pious 
woman named Octavilla. 

The first church consecrated in England by S. Augustine 
was dedicated to S. Pancras. It was at Canterbury. Its 
ruins still stand. A curious legend is to the effect that 
when S. Augustine said mass on the altar, the devil flew 
away, leaving the impression of his claws on the stone^ 
The fragment of wall containing the impression still 

The relics of S. Pancras abound. His body is in the 
church of his name at Rome, his head in the Lateran. 
Portions at Alba, in Venice, at Bologna, where is shewn 
another head as that of S. Pancras. But the body is also 

litis curious that Cardinal Wiseman should not have consulted ihe Acts of 
S. Pancras before writing his charming story of Fabiola ; had he done so, he 
would not have made Pancras the son of a martyred father, and with his mother 
in Rome. Both father and mother were heathens, and the mother died before the 
father. The error has no doabt arisen from his taking only the Breviary account*, 
ftnd supposing it contained ali that was in the Acts, 

May 12.] S. Philip of Agyra. 1 6 1 

enshrined at Treves. Also relics anciently at Marseilles, 
Saintes, and many others in France. Also at Giesen in 
Hesse, of which university town he was regarded the patron. 
Other relics at Ghent, Douai, Mechlin, Utrecht, Leyden, 
Cologne, Prague, at Guarda in Portugal, and anciently in 
several churches in England. 

In Art, S. Pancras appears as a boy with a sword in one 
hand and a palm in the other. 


(5TH century). 

Roman Martyrology, Molanus in his addition to Usuardus, Ferrarius, 
&c. Authority ; — A life in Greek attributed incorrectly to Eusebius the 
monk, his companion, ^ The style of the earlier part of this life is certainly 
ancient, the latter part consists of miracles, and has less appearance of 
antiquity. There is another life wholly apocryphal, falsely attributed to S. 
Athanasius. This was forged at Agyra by some one who was not satisfied 
with the late date given in the more genuine life to the Saint, and wished 
to make him a companion and disciple of S. Peter, being zealous rather for 
^he honour of his city than for historic truth. The following account is 
from the first life which, in its main outlines, is no doubt trustworthy.] 

In the reign of Arcadius the emperor there lived in 
Thrace a Syrian named Theodosius, whose wife was a Roman 
woman named Augia. They had three sons, who were 
employed in buying and selling horses. Now it fell out that 
before the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross,^ the 
young men were driving a number of young colts to- 
wards Constantinople, where was a large horse-fair, and as 
they were traversing the river Sangaris, which was full of 
water, owing to recent storms, some of the colts were swept 
down, and the young men were drowned in endeavouring 
to rescue them. And when the news reached Theodosius, 

^ Sept x4th according to the Greeks. 
VOL. v. II 

1 62 Lives of the Samts. [Mayw. 

he was grieved sore, but being full of trust in God, he said, - 
" The Lord's Name be praised, nowanci for evermore," and 
he prayed for the souls of his boys, and gave large alms. 

But Augia could not be comforted, but wept sore night 
and day. Then the prayers and alms-deeds of Theodosius 
came up as a memorial before God, and He looked upon 
His handmaid in compassion, and she conceived and bare a 
son, and they called his name Philip. Now Augia was com- 
forted, and being full of gratitude to God, she dedicated her 
child to Him, as of old did the holy Hannah devote the 
infant Samuel. When Philip was aged twenty-one he was 
ordained deacon, and he spoke fluently the Syrian tongue, and 
was well instructed in ecclesiastical discipline. But he had 
pften heard his mother commend the piety of the Romans, 
how that in the churches at Rome all were serious and recol- 
lected, and none turned their heads over their shoulders to see 
who were coming in at the door, "and there it was thought a 
great crime to whisper and giggle on entering the church." 
Hearing this, Philip ardently desired to visit Rome, and he 
confided his desire to his father. Now Theodosius was a 
good man who always bent his will to what he considered to 
be the will of God*, and seeing the fixity of his son's purpose, 
he took his hand and turning to the east, prayed in the 
Sjnian tongue, saying, " God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, 
into thy hands I commend this thy servant. Do with him 
as seemeth best in thine eyes ! " Then they embraced, and 
he sent him away without having told Augia that she was to 
lose her son. And when the young deacon's form disap- 
peared^ on the horizon, the old man came slowly back to 
his home to break the news to his wife. 

But Philip set sail for Rome, and a storm fell on^ the ship^ 
and it Vas in sore distress. Then he prayed, standing in the 
bows facing the wind and rain, "O my God! To Thee did 
ciy father confide me. Let me not be lost in the sea as my 

May 12.1 61 Philip of Agyra. 163 

"brothers were lost in the river." And by God's help the 
-vessel came to land. With Philip travelled a certain 
Eusebius, a Greek monk, and they came to Rome, and stood 
Reside the door of the basilica of S. Peter. Then the pope 
•was told in the spirit to go to the door, and on the left side 
he would find a young deacon in a cloak (phelonion) and 
^e was to make him minister Ihat day at the altar. But 
when the Holy Father spoke to Philip, the young deacon 
reddened with shame, for he could not speak a word of Latin, 
and the pope knew liot a word of Syriac. Then the pope 
signed his lips and bade him serve, and the young man went 
and ministered to him at the altar, and he responded all in 
the Latin tongue.^ 

And the pope was pleased with the young man, and he 
gave him a book^ written with his own hand, "by the 
virtue of the Holy Ghost," and ordained him priest, and 
sent him to Sicily, saying, "Take this apostolic book 
to-day, and when thou hast reached the eastern parts of 
Sicily, thou wilt find a place called Agyra, in the region of 
Mount Etna, from which mountain fire breaks forth, and it 
vomits perpetual flame, and there Satan dwells with his 
spirits and all his armies, possessing it by a sort of right of 
inheritance." So Philip went to Sicily, and he reached 
the foot of Etna, and saw smoke and flame biu:st from the 
summit. Then, taking the book in his hand, he ascended 
to the crater, and having prayed, he cried, " Show, O Lord, 
Thy face, and drive away all this host of devils ! " and he 
signed the cross over the crater with the book. And as he 

1 As Eusebius, or whoever wrote the life, gives the responses, and they arc from 
Ihe Greek liturgy and not from the Roman, it is probable that titcre really 
was no great marvel wrought, but that Philip responded as he was wont 
in the East, and served as well as he could, considering the difference in the 

« What book it was—" Apostolic volume " it is called— is not clear. It may have 
been the Gospels, or the Canonical Epistles, or it may have been, as Hcnschenius 
thinks, a book of exorcisms. 

164 Lives of the Saints^ [May 12^ 

came down, the cinders started under his feet and skipped 
down the cone in great multitudes, and occasionally he 
dislodged pieces of lava, which went down with bounds, and 
in his excited imagination he fancied they were demons 
racing down the mountain before him. 

Philip settled at Agyra, the modern S. Filippo d'Aazira, 
where he wrought many miracles, and died at the age of 


(a.d. 403.) 

[Greek Mensea, Russian Kalendar, Roman Martyrology, Ado, Bede, 
Usuardus, &c. Authorities : — Sozomen, Socrates, and his own writings 1*3 

S. Epiphanius was born at Besanduc, in the territory of 
Eleutheropolis, in Palestine. From early childhood he 
embraced the religious life, and became a disciple of S. 
Hilarion. He visited Egypt, where he was thrown among 
Gnostics, and became acquainted with their peculiar tenets 
and rites. He was ordained bishop of Salamis, the metro- 
polis of Cyprus. In 374 he composed his Anchor, a treatise 
on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and in 376 he began 
his great work on heresies. He was at Rome at the 
council in 382, with Paulinus of Antioch and S. Jerome, 
He lodged in the house of S. Paula, the illustrious widow, 
who afterwards went to Bethlehem to be near her spiritual 
father, S. Jerome. Having spent the winter in Rome, he 
returned the following spring to his diocese, in company 
with Paulinus. S. Jerome remained in Rome till after the 
death of Pope Damasus, in 385, when he left for the East, 
and was warmly received on his way by S. Epiphanius. S. 
Paula, on her way to Bethlehem, also landed in Cyprus,, 

^ There !s a life pretending to be written by three disciples of S. Epiphanius, but 
it is a forgery and unworthy of the smallest reliance 

*'»y»J S. Epiphanius. 165 

and the Bishop of Salamis was able to return her hos- 
pitality. He insisted on her spending ten days with him, 
to repose after her voyage ; but she spent the time in visit- 
ing the monasteries in his diocese. 

ApoUinarianism was a heresy which at this time troubled 
the Church. It was about 369 that this error assumed its 
most definite form. It started from the idea of the true 
Divinity of Christj and professing exceeding reverence for 
Him, argued that if He had had a true human nature, He 
must have had sinful instincts, but as this was not to be 
believed, then the nature of Christ was not truly human. 
The Incarnation was only a converse of God with man. 
Christ's body was not really bom of Mary, but was a fresh 
and pure creation of the Godhead. And as ApoUinaris 
had denied the Blessed Virgin to be the real Mother of the 
Word Incarnate, some were led on to a denial of her per- 
petual virginity, and others, by reaction, made her the 
object of an idolatrous homage. First in Thrace, and then 
among the women in Arabia, there grew up a custom of 
placing cakes (coUyrides) on a stool covered with linen, 
offering them up to S. Mary, and then eating them as 
sacrificial food. S. Epiphanius severely condemned these 
two extremes. He denounced those who denied Christ's 
Mother to be ever-virgin as " Antidicomarians," adversaries 
of Mary, who deprived her of the honour due to her ; but 
he insisted that worship, in the true acceptation of the 
word, was due to the Trinity alone. 

He undertook a journey to Antioch in 376 to endeavour 
to convert the Apollinarian bishop, Vitalis ; but in that he 
was not successful. 

The contest about Origenism now broke out. The 
writings of Origen certainly contained daring conjectures, 
and in the midst of much that was admirable, the critical 
eye could detect heretical speculations. The notion that 

1 66 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi»^ 

the reign of Christ was finite was rather an inference from. 
his writings than a tenet of Origen. He thought that alL 
bodies would be finally annihilated, and if so, the humanity 
of Christ, and consequently His personal reign, would 
cease also. The possibility that the devil might, after long 
purification, be saved, and that the risen body might, after 
a period again, fall into corruption, were doctrines un- 
questionably repugnant to Catholic orthodox belief, if 
seriously maintained. 

The most intimate friend of S. Jerome was Ruffinus of 
Aquileia, now living as a priest under John, Bishop of 
Jerusalem, who had succeeded S. Cyril in 386. Ruffinus- 
was a great admirer of the writings of Origen ; and Jerome,, 
nine years before, had told Paula that the charge of heresy 
brought against them was got up by the jealousy of inferior 
minds,^ But when, in 393, a pilgrim from the West^ 
named Aterbius, denounced Ruffinus and Jerome as; 
Origenists, S. Jerome at once disclaimed all sympathy with. 
Origen, while Ruffinus kept within doors, in order to avoid 
the sight of his denouncer. John of Jerusalem was in- 
clined to Origenism, or at least was an admirer of hia. 
writings, and in the inflamed and irritable temper of the 
religious world at that moment, to admire the excellencies- 
of Origen's writings, even though his errors were rejected^ 
was regarded with mistrust. 

S. Epiphanius, who looked on Origenism witli horror,, 
visited Jerusalem in the Lent of 394. John received the. 
old prelate into his house, and invited him to preach in the 
church of the Resurrection. S. Epiphani\is took the oppor- 
tunity of denouncing Origenism, in such a way as to shew 
what he thought of his host,^ the archbishop then present 

1 In his peculiar style, he says that the impugners of Origen's orthodoxy were 
*• mad dogs." Ep.33. 

* S. Jerome admits this, Cont. Joan xx. "You and your company," he add?, 
•'sneered, rubbed your heads, and nodded to each other, as much as to say, 'the 
old man is in his dotage.'" 

MayT2.j .S. Epiphanms. 167 

who exhibited his impatience and contempt by signs equally 
unmistakeable, and sent his archdeacon to bid him be silent. 
John preached in his turn, and reprobated the " Anthropo- 
morphists," who took literally the texts which ascribed 
to God "a body, parts, and passions." While he 
spoke, he looked hard at S. Epiphanius, who afterwards 
quietly rose and said, " I too condemn the Anthropomor- 
phists, but we must also condemn Origenism." A shout of 
laughter from the congregation exhibited their enjoyment 
of this retort. 

On another occasion, when on his way to celebrate ser- 
vice with John at Bethel, Epiphanius found on a village 
church-door a curtain, on which was painted a figure of 
Christ, or of a saint. The sight offended his rigid scruples; 
and being wont to take his own course, with small regard 
for circumstances, he forthwith tore the curtain, and advised 
that it should be used as a shroud for the poor. The 
keepers of the church naturally observed, " If he tears our 
curtain, he is bound to provide us with another." " So I 
will," said Epiphanius ; and he did in fact send them the 
best he could procure. 

Finding John estranged from him, he withdrew to Beth- 
lehem, where he received a cordial welcome. One of the 
monks at Bethlehem was Paulinianus, the brother of S. 
Jerome. The monastery needed a priest, for Jerome's morbid 
humility would not allow him to officiate, and Epiphanms 
contrived to seize Paulinianus at Eleutheropolis, which was 
not within the diocese of Jerusalem, *and ordained him 
there. But the act was unjustifiable, for he sent him to 
minister in the diocese of another bishop, and John indig- 
nantly complained. S. Epiphanius wrote a letter in which 
he endeavoured to defend the ordination, and charged the 
bishop of Jerusalem with Origenist heretical tenets. Of 
th^se the chief were, that souls had existed and sinned 

1 68 Lives of the Saints. [May 12. 

^_^ ^_^_^ ' 

before they came into bodies ; and that the salvation of 
Satan was a possibility. However, he seems to have felt 
that he had acted inconsiderately, and had laid himself 
open to blame, for he took Paulinianus back with him to 
Cyprus to minister there. In the strife between John and Epi- 
phanivis, Rufiinus and Jerome naturally took opposite sides. 

Theophilus of Alexandria had put down Paganism by 
force of arms. He suppressed Arianism by the same 
violent and coercive means. The tone of this prelate's 
epistles is invariably harsh and criminatory. He opposed 
the vulgar Anthropomorphism into which certain of the 
monks in the neighbourhood of Alexandi'ia were falling, 
and insisted on the pure ccriptural nature of the Deity. 
Yet he condescended to appease these turbulent adversaries 
by an unmanly artifice. He consented to condemn Origen, 
who having reposed quietly in his tomb for many years, in 
general respect, was exhumed, so to speak, by the zeal of 
late times, as a dangerous heresiarch. Theophilus quarrelled 
with Isidore, an old priest, who fled from his persecution to 
thsNitrian monks. Theophilus attacked the monastery, and 
drove the monks from their cells into exile, charging them 
with Origenism. Four of these monks, known as the Tall 
Brothers, fled to Constantinople and appealed for protection 
to S. John Chrysostom, who wrote gently to Theophilus to 
remonstrate with him for his high-handed -and cruel pro- 
ceedings. But Theophilus, who denied his right to 
in'cerfere, called in S. Epiphanius as his ally, and held a 
synod against Origenism. 

S. Jerome supported Theophilus unreservedly. He was 
mow in the full tide of controversy with Rufiinus. One 
angry tract called forth another, until Jerome himself became 
sensible of the wretchedness of such a quarrel, and S. 
Augustine entreated him to close a scene that chilled and 
saddened every true friendship. 

May 12] S. Epiphdnius. 169 

The Tall Brothers appealed to the Emperor and Empress, 
who summoned Theophilus to Constantinople to shew 
cause for his ill-treatment of the monks. Theophilus sent 
Epiphanius^ to Constantinople to carry on the war against 
Origenism. The old man on this occasion exhibited more 
plainly than ever the faults of character which had marred 
his usefulness. One of his first acts after landing was to 
ordain a deacon. He spurned S. Chrysostom's offers oi 
hospitality, refused to eat or to pray with him, and en- 
deavoured to procure from the bishops then at Constanti- 
nople an assent to the decree of his own S3niod against 
Origenism. Theotimus, bishop of Scythia, answ.ered him 
curtly, "Epiphanius ! I choose not to insult the memory of 
one who ended his life piously long ago ; nor dare I con- 
demn one whom my predecessors did not reject." At the 
desire of the Empress the Tall Brothers paid him a visit : 
"Who are ye?" "Father, we are the Tall Brothers. 
What do you know of our doctrine or of our writings ? " 
** Nothing." "Why then," asked one of them, "have you 
condemned us as heretics unheard ? " All that the hasty 
old man could say was, "You were reported to be heretics." 
They shamed him by replying, " We treated you far other- 
wise when we defended your books against a like imputa- 

Soon afterwards, in May, 403, he quitted Constantinople. 
He was humbled by his conference with the Tall Brothers, 
and felt that he had been acting with a zeal not sufficiently 
tempered with discretion, and that charity that hopeth all 
things, and thinketh not evil; and he could hardly have 
failed to contrast his own conduct with that of S, Chrysos- 

^ This exhibits the xneainness of Theophilus. He had formerly blamed S« 
Epiphanius as holding Anthropomorphistic views ; but now, thinking it would be 
advantageous to him to have the support of so holy a man, he wrote to him to 
inform him that he had come round to his views. Sozamen viii. 14, Socrates vi. 

170 Lives of the Saints. [Mayr*. 

torn, whose admonitions cut him to the quick. " You 
have done many things contrary to the canons, Epiphanius; 
you have ordained in churches under my jurisdiction ; you 
have ministered in them unauthorized by me; I invited you, 
and you rejected my invitation ; and now you would in an 
assembly denounce me. Beware, lest you stir up a tumult 
and endanger yourself." As he was mounting his boat he 
half acknowledged his error. " I leave you the city and 
the palace," said he to S. Chrysostom; and then with a 
flash of temper which spoilt the apology, **and their plea- 

He died on his homeward voyage.^ 

(about a.d. 688.) 

[Galilean, Belgian, and Benedictine Martyrologies. Authority : — A life 
compiled from earlier notices by Hucbald, monk of Elnone, in 907.] 

S. RiCTRUDis was bom in Gascony, of Christian parents, 
named Ernold and Lichia. "Gentle and modest in her 
conduct, with the innocence of her soul as a seal on her 
brow, full of charity and thought for others, the young 
Rictrudis grew up in favour with the Lord, and in the first 
dawn of life shone like a pure star of righteousness and 

S. Amandus preached in the neighbourhood of Toulouse, 
when driven into exile for reproaching King Dagobert for 
his incontinency, and he lodged in the house of Ernold. 

Gascony was then governed by Aribert, who died shortly 
afterwards and left his territories to his brother Dagobert; 
and intercourse between the Franks and the Gascons 
became more common. Adalbald, a noble Frank, visiting 

1 Parts of this life are from Canon Bright's *' Church History." 

May 12.] S. Rictrudzs. 171 

Gascony on some mission from the sovereign, saw and 
loved Rictnidis, and married her with the consent of her 
parents. She then followed him to the north, into Flanders 
to Ostrevaen,^ where he had large possessions. She bore 
him four children, S. Maurontus (May 5th), B. Clotsendis 
(June 30th), S. Eusebia (March i6th), and B. Adsilsendis 
(Dec. 24th). It may be well imagined that this house- 
hold of saints was an united and happy one. The ancient 
writer thus describes it: — "They assisted the poor, and 
softened their labours and fatigue; they were ever ready 
to relieve the hungry and the thirsty, to find clothes for the 
naked, and to give shelter to the traveller. Sometimes 
Rictnidis ^nd her husband might be seen going out sur- 
rounded by their little children, who played their innocent 
games about them, and it was with their children that 
Adalbald and Rictrudis entered the houses of the sick and 
needy to bring consolation and assistance. Their hands- 
were ready to shroud the dead, and often did their words 
bring repentance and peace to hearts that had been 
hardened by crime, or ulcerated by hatred." 

But this blessed life of mutual love and good works was 
too bright to remain long without the cross making it with 
pain. Adalbald was obliged to make a journey into Gascony, 
and was murdered in P^rigord, as has been already related 
(Vol. II., p. 41). On receiving news of his death, Rictrudis 
turned to the sole source of consolation, and resolved to 
dedicate the rest of her days to the undivided service of 
God. But with the true prudence of unselfish piety, she 
deferred taking the veil till her son Maurontus was of a 
sufficient age to be admitted into the court of the king. 
When she had sent him forth, and had ascertained that he 
was living uprightly, purely, and modestly, beloved by all, 

' Or Austrebant, the portion of Flanders inclosed by the Schelde, the Scharpe 
and the Somnae. 

1^2 Lives of the Saints. tMayu. 

the ties that attached her to the world parted of their own 
accord, and she prepared to retire to Marchiennes, when 
she was surprised and pained by a message from the king 
requesting her to marry one of his nobles. The requests 
of a monarch were at that time equivalent to commands, 
and Rictrudis in alarm sought S. Amandus, and persuaded 
him to plead her cause with the king. Not many days 
after, the king, Clevis II., was in the neighbourhood. 
Rictrudis invited him to her castle, and prepared for him 
and his attendants a magnificent repast During the 
banquet Rictrudis rose from her place, and bending her 
knee before the king, asked his permission to fulfil her 
duty and desire. Clovis, supposing she meant that she 
was wishing to bring round and offer the grace cup, replied 
in the affirmative. 

"Sire r* said Rictrudis, suddenly producing a black veil, 
and throwing it over her head, "to this, duty and incli- 
nation call me.'' 

The king burst into an explosion of anger, started from 
the table, and went forth followed by his attendants. 
S. Amandus then hastened after the king, and pleaded 
the cause of the saint so effectually that Clovis gave 
his consent and withdrew all opposition to her retirement 
into the cloister. 

She then assumed the veil at Marchiennes, taking 
with her her daughters Clotsendis and Adalsendis, who 
were still young. Her eldest daughter, Eusebia, was with 
S. Gertrude, her grandmother, at Hamage. She was 
speedily called to sacrifice her child Adalsendis to God, 
for she fell sick and died on Christmas Day. For three 
days the mother restrained her tears. But on the Feast of 
the Holy Innocents, when she heard the Gospel read, in 
which that prophecy is rehearsed which tells of Rachel 
weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, her 

Mayia. S. RictrucHs. 1^3 

tears burst forth, and her sobs convulsed her frame. When 
the service was concluded, and the nuns were going to the 
refectory, Rictrudis turned to them weeping and said, "Go, 
dear sisters, without me, I must be like Rachel this day at 

Not many years after, she heard that her son Maurontus, 
who had lived innocent and God-fearing in the court of 
the Frank king, proposed retiring from the world. She was 
full of alarm, knowing the offence this would give to the 
king and to his relatives, and fearing for himself lest his 
vocation should not be sincere. She asked the opinion of 
S. Amandus, and he calmed her apprehensions by telling 
her how her son had conducted himself at court. Maur- 
ontus came to Marchiennes and told his mother how sincere 
was his purpose, and then, in the abbey church before his 
mother's eyes, the young noble stripped off his armour, 
and received the tonsure from the hands of S. Amandus. 
He then retired to Breuil (Merville) where he built a 
monastery on his own estate. 

S. Rictrudis died at the age of seventy-six, and left the 
government of the abbey of Marchiennes to her daughter 

The relics of S. Rictrudis were preserved at Marchiennes 
in a magnificent shrine which was sent to Paris during the 
Revolution, in 1793, to be coined. A workman saved the 
bones and hid them, and gave them on the restoration of 
tranquillity to the Archbishop of Paris, and they were 
preserved in the palace. But in the sack of July 24th, 
1830, they were dispersed. 

174 Lives of the Saints. [May 12. 


(about A.D. 732.) 

[The Menology of Emperor Basil And the ancient Constantinopolitan 
Synaxarium, and the Greek Mensea. Gallican Martyrology of Saussaye 
and Modern Roman Martyrology. Authority : — Notices in Theophanes 
and the life of S. Stephen the Yoiinger, one of the sufferers in the perse- 
cution of Cunstantine Copronymus.] 

Justinian II., Emperor of the East, had been driven 
into exile to the Chersonese. He obtained help from the 
Bulgarians, and returned to wreak his vengeance on his 
enemies. His vessel was assaulted by a violent tempest ; 
and one of his pious companions advised him to deserve 
the mercy of God by a vow of general forgiveness, if he 
should be restored to the throne. " Of forgiveness ?" re- 
plied the intrepid tyrant. " May I perish this instant if I 
consent to spare the head of one of my enemies." He 
returned to Constantinople at the head of his Bulgarian 
allies, and rewarded their chief, who retired after sweeping 
away a heap of gold coin which he measured with his Scythian 
whip. But never was vow more religiously observed than 
the sacred oath of vengeance he had taken amidst the 
storms of the Euxine. The two usurpers, Leontius and 
Apsimar, were cast prostrate in chains before the throne of 
the emperor; and Justinian, planting a foot on each of 
their necks, contemplated above an hour a chariot race, 
whilst the inconstant people shouted, in the words of the 
psalmist, "Thou shalt go upon the lion and adder, the 
young Hon and the dragon shalt thou tread under thy feet" 
During the six years of his new reign, he considered the 
axe, the cord, and the rack as the only instruments of 
royalty. In 7 1 1 the troops revolted, weary of serving such 
a tyrant, and Bardanes, under the name of Philippicus, was 
invested with the purple. Justinian fell under the hand of 

Mayia.] S. Gerifianus. - 175 

an assassin, and Philippicus was hailed at Constantinople 
as a hero who had delivered his county from a tyrant 

Philippicus was a Monothelite, and his first act on 
entering the vestibule of the palace was to order the 
removal of the painting of the Sixth Council (Constanti- 
nople, A.D. 680-1), which had condemned Monothelitism. 
The emperor also deposed C)tus the Patriarch, whom he 
confined in the monastery of Chora, and enthroned John, 
a Monothelite, in his place. Germanus, metropolitan of 
Cyzicus, and Andrew, bishop of Crete, supported him. He at 
once set about persecuting those who adhered to the Catholic 
Faith, and he placed on the diptychs the name of Pope 
Honorius, whom the Sixth General Council had anathe- 
matized as a Monothelite heretic. Shortly after, having 
found in the palace the acts of this council written by the 
hand of Agatho the deacon and librarian, he burnt them 
publicly. On the festival of his birthday, in 714, Philippicus 
entertained the multitude with the games of the circus; 
from thence he paraded through the streets with a thousand 
banners and a thousand trumpets, and returning to the 
palace, entertained his nobles with a sumptuous banquet. 
At the meridian hour he withdrew to his chamber, intoxi- 
catedr with wine and flattery. Some bold conspirators 
introduced themselves into his room, bound, blinded, and 
deposed the slumbering monarch, before he was awake to 
his danger. Yet the traitors were deprived of their reward, 
and the free voice of the senate and people raised Artemus, 
the secretary, under the title of Anastasius II., to the 
imperial throne, and he was crowned in the sanctuary by 
the patriarch John. Then, finding that the new emperor 
was a Catholic, the patriarch, the bishops, and all the 
clergy present, hasted to proclaim the authority of the 
Sixth General Council. John then wrote to Pope Constan 
line a quibbling letter, in which he endeavoured to excuse 

1 76 Lives of the Saints. luzy'iz 

his conduct in anathematizing the Council of Con%tantL 
nople against the Monothelites, during the brief reign of 
Philippicus. But Constantine was dead, and the famous 
Gregory II. sat in the throne of S. Peter. 

Anastasius deposed John from his patriarchial seat, and 
elevated to it S. Germanus, bishop of Cyzicus, with whose 
orthodoxy he was satisfied, though Germanus had played 
an unmistakeable Monothelite part under the late emperor. 
But at this age men were too ready to shift their opinions • 
to accord with the views of the reigning sovereign, and if 
Germanus proved compliant in one instance, he held 
firmly in another. Germanus was the son of the patrician 
Justinian, who had been compromised in the murder of 
Constans II., the father of Constantine Pogonatus. For 
this cause the emperor had executed Justinian and made 
an eunuch of Germanus. 

In a mutiny of the feet, an obscure and reluctant officer 
of the revenue was forcibly invested with the purple, and 
after a reign of a year and two months, Anastasius re- 
signed tlie sceptre, to be followed speedily into the 
retirement of the cloister by Theodosius II., who had 
supplanted him, and who in tiurn yielded his throne to 
Leo III. It is agreed that Leo was a native of Isauria, 
and that Conon was his primitive name. The writers, 
whose outward satire is praise, describe him as an 
itinerant pedlar who drove an ass with some paltry 
merchandise to the country fairs. A more probable 
account relates the migration of his father from Asia 
Minor to Thrace, where he exercised the lucrative trade 6f 
a grazier. Leo's first service was in the guard of Justinian, 
where he attracted the notice and awakened the jealous3r 
of the tyrant From Anastasius he received the command 
of the Anatolian Legions, and by the suffrage of the soldiers> 
he was raised to the empire in 717, and occupied the 
throne twenty-four year* 

May 13] S, Germanus. 


Leo had reigned for ten years before he declared his 
hostility to images. But his persecuting spirit had betrayed 
itself in the compulsory baptism of the Jews and the 
Montanists in Constantinople. 

At the close of these ten years in the reign of Leo, in 
the summer of 726, a volcanic explosion at sea, in the 
Archipelago, between the islands Thera and Therasia, 
accompanied by volumes of smoke and fire, and the 
elevation of a new island, was regarded by Leo as a signal 
of Divine wrath against those who venerated images. An 
edict was fulminated interdicting the veneration of images. 
His adviser was said to be a certain Besor, a Syrian 
renegade from Christianity, deeply imbued with Mahom- 
medan antipathies. 

The first edict prohibited paying any sort of religious 
reverence to statues and pictures which represented the 
Saviour, the Virgin, and the Saints. The statues and those 
pictures which hung upon the walls were to be raised to a 
greater height, so as not to receive pious kisses, or other 
marks of veneration. This edict was followed, at what 
interval it is difficult to determine, by a second, of far 
greater severity. It commanded the total destruction of 
all iiftages, the whitewashing the walls of the churches. 
But if the first edict was everywhere received with the 
most determined aversion, the second maddened the vast 
mass of the people, the clergy and the monks. In the 
capital the presence of the emperor did not in the least 
overawe the populace. An imperial officer had orders to 
destroy a statue of the Saviour in a part of Constantinople 
called Chaleopratia. The thronging multitude saw with 
horror the officer mount the ladder. Thrice he struck with 
impious axe the holy countenance, which had so benignly 
looked down upon them. Then the endurance of the 
people broke down, horror and indignation over- 

VOL. V. 12 

1 78 Lives of the Saints. cMay m. 

mastered them. Some women shook the ladder, and the 
officer fell and was beaten to death with clubs. The 
emperor sent an armed guard to suppress the tumult; and 
a frightful massacre took place. 

This was the beginning of a savage persecution. The 
pious were punished with mutilations, scourgings, exile and 

The aged Germain now spoke out. He wrote three 
letters which are extant. In the first, addressed to John, 
bishop of Sjmnada, he said, " We do not adore the works 
of men, but we believe the holy martyrs are worthy of all 
honour, and we ask their intercession. To God alone 
does Christian faith, worship and adoration belong, as it 
is written: — Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and 
Him only shalt thou serve. To Him alone is our doxology 
and our worship addressed. God forbid that we should 
worship the creature with the worship due to the Creator. 
When we prostrate ourselves before emperors and princes^ 
it is not givmg them the adoration due to God. The 
prophet Nathan fell on his face before David, who was 
only a man, and was not blamed therefor. And when we 
allow images, it is not to diminish" the perfection of Divine 
worship, for we make no representations of the invisible 
and incomprehensible Divinity. But as the Son of God 
condescended to become Man for our salvation, we make 
representations of His human form to fortify our faith, to 
assure us that He assumed our real, veritable nature, and 
not a phantom form, as heretics declare. We salute 
images and render them suitable honour and reverence, as 
recalling to us the Incarnation. We also make representa- 
tions of Christ's Holy Mother, to show that she being 
a woman of like nature with iis, conceived and brought 
forth Almighty God. We admire the martyrs, prophets, 
and all other holy servants of God, and we paint their 

May 13.] S. Germanus. 179 

likenesses as memorials of their courage and of the service 
they rendered to God. Not that we pretend they par- 
ticipate in the Divine Nature, nor do we give them the 
honour and adoration due to God, but we show our affection 
for them, and by painting them fortify the faith of men in the 
verities they have heard through their ears. As we are 
men of flesh and blood, we need such assistance." He 
entrusted this letter to Constantine, bishop of Nacolia, to 
take to his metropolitan, John; but Constantine was 
resolved to trim his sails to the breeze that blew from court, 
and suppressed the letter. 

S. Germanus then wrote him a letter of remonstrance. 
He also wrote to Thomas, bishop of Claudiopolis, who had 
declared himself against images. Fram this letter may be 
extracted the following striking passage : — 

" Pictures are an abridged history, and all tend to the 
sole glory of the Celestial Father. When we show rever- 
ence to the representation of Jesus Christ, we do not adore 
the colours applied to the wood ; we are adoring the invisible 
God who is in the bosom of the Father; and Him we 
worship in spirit and in truth." 

He also wrote to Pope Gregory II., who replied to him 
in a long letter, in which he congratulated him on the 
vigour with which he had defended Catholic tradition. 

The enterprise of Leo the Isaurian against sacred art 
occasioned a revolt of the people of Greece and the 
Cyclades, who armed a fleet under the command of 
Agallian and Stephen, which sailed for Constantinople, 
but was completely defeated on the i8th of April, 727. 
Agallian was cast into the sea, and Stephen was decapi-. 

This success encouraged Leo, and he made fresh efforts 
to gain the patriarch Germanus, who had declared against 
the rebels, although they had sailed imder the plea of a 

i8o Lives of the Saints. [Mayia, 

holy war. The emperor sent for him, spoke flatteringly to 
him, and urged him to )rield, 

**Sire," said the aged, patriarch, "we have received 
orders to remove our images; but let the persecutor be 
Conon, not Leo." "True," said the emperor, "I received 
the name of Conon at my baptism." " God forbid, sire," 
said Germanus, " that thy reign should see this accursed 
work carried out. It is a war not against images, but 
against the reality of the Incarnation." 

At the opening of the year 730 Leo held a council of 
those who favoured his views, and endeavoured to force 
the patriarch to subscribe its decree against the use of 
images and pictures, but he preferred to resign his dignity, 
and removing his pallj he turned to the emperor, and 
said, "Sire, I may not innovate, nor make an alteration 
without the authority of an CEcumenical Council." And he 
retired to the patriarchal palace. The emperor sent officers 
to expel him, and the old man, then aged eighty, was 
driven forth with blows and insults. He retired to his 
paternal mansion after having occupied the see fourteen 
years, five months, and three days. In his home he lived 
as a monk, and died peacefully about the year 732. 

^ayi3.] iSl Glyceria^ i8i 

May 13. 

S. Glyceria, V,M. at HeracUa, In thrace, c'tre, a.d. I'j'j. 

S. Onesimus, B, (J Soissons, eire, a.d. 360. 

SS. Martyrs at Alexandria, in the Church of S. TTieonaSf a.d. ^s. 

S. Servatus, B, q/ fongres and Maestricht, a.d. 3S4. 

S. JOHM THE SiLENTiARY, Monk at S. Sahas, in Palestine^ a.d. 558« 

S. RoLENDA, F, at Gerpines, war Namur, *jth or 8th cent- 

S. MoELDAD, jfb. of Monaghan, about *ith cent, 

B. GfiRARf), H, near Florence, a.d. 1267. 

S* Peter Regalate, C. at Jquileria, in Spain, a.d. 1436. 


(about A.D. 177.) 

[Commemorated on this day by the Greeks, especially at Jerusalem, 
also in the Arabic Egyptian Martyrology, the Menology of the Emperor 
Basil, the Mensea, and the Modem Roman Mart3rrology. Authority : — 
The Greek Acts, not trustworthy.] 

LYCERIA was a maiden of Trajanopolis, in 
Thrace, who refused to obey the edict of the 
emperor, and sacrifice to the idols. She was 
cruelly tortured by order of the governor 
Sabinus, being suspended by her hair and beaten. She 
was taken to Heraclea, where she was executed. 


(A.D. 372.) 

[Modem Roman Martyrology, Authority :— A Letter of Peter, Bishop 
of Alexandria, a contemporary, quoted by Theodoret, lib. iv., c. 22.] 

After the death of S. Athanasius, one Peter was elected 
to fill his place as Patriarch of Alexandria. He had shared 
in the labours and afflictions of S. Athanasius, and had 

1 82 Lives of the Saints. [m^; u. 

endeared himself to the people of Alexandria. But the 
Emperor Valens was an Arian, and a persecutor, and 
Peter was driven from his see, and an Arian named Lucius 
was installed in his place, Who dispersed and exiled the 
hermits of the desert, on account of their inflexible ad- 
herence to the faith of Nicaea. He was supported by 
Palladius, the governor of the province, a heathen ; but 
this was not the first time that heresy and heathenism 
combined against the true faith. Palladius, at the insti- 
gation of Lucius, attacked the Catholics in their churches,, 
and the most atrocious crimes were committed. "But," 
says the Bishop Peter, " when I try to speak of them, the 
remembrance overcomes me, and draws tears from my 
eyes. The people entered the Church of Theonas, singing 
the praises of their idols, clapping their hands, and uttering 
insults against the Christian virgins which my tongue 
refuses to repeat. Would that they had confined them* 
selves to words I But they tore the garments of the virgins; 
of Christ, whose purity rendered them like angels. They* 
dragged them in a state of complete nudity about the city,, 
and treated them in the most wanton and insulting manner, 
and with unheard-of cruelty. If any one, touched with 
compassion, interfered, he was attacked and wounded. 
Many of these virgins were beaten about their heads with 
clubs, and expired beneath the blows. Many of the corpses 
have not yet been found, to the grief of their parents. A 
young man, dressed as a woman, danced upon the holy 
altar where we invoke the Holy Ghost, making grimaces ta 
the diversion of the mob, who laughed immoderately. 
Another stripped himself naked and seated himself as 
naked as he was bom in the episcopal chair. When these 
acts of impiety had been perpetrated I left the church." 

May 13.] iSl Servutus. 183 


(A.D. 384.) 

[Ado, Usuardus, the Belgian Mart3rrologies, the Modem Roman Mar- 
tyrology. Authorities : — The life of S. Servais by Heriger, abbot of 
Lobbes, at the end of the loth or beginning of the zith century, and 
mention by S. Gregory of Tours.] 

It is not known whence S. Servais (Servatus) came. He 
was bishop of Tongres, near Maestricht, and was present at 
the council of Cologne, held in 346, in which the bishop of 
Cologne was deposed for his Arianism. The words used by 
S. Servais on that occasion were : " I know for certain what 
this false bishop teaches. I know it not from hearsay, but 
from having heard him with my own ears. As our dioceses 
adjoin, I have often remonstrated with him when he denied 
the divinity of Jesus Christ. I have done so in private 
and in public, before Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. 
My advice is, that he should no longer be a Christian 
bishop, and that they who communicate with him should 
not be regarded as Christians." He must have been in the 
presence of S. Athanasius when that saint was exiled to 
Treves, between the years 336 and 338. 

He was present at the council of Sardica in 347, and at 
the council of Rimini in 359, in which he long stood out 
against the Arians. The bishops of the West there assembled 
were told that the Eastern bishops assembled at Seleucia had 
accepted the Arian creed as the emperor insisted. This was 
most false, but the bishops yielded one after another. Never- 
theless, above twenty held out, headed by S. Servais and S. 
Phoebadius, of Agen. They were menaced, but Phoebadius 
replied, "Any suffering rather than an Arian creed." The 
Emperor Yalens, after some days had thus been spent, 
equivocated, -pretended he was not an Arian, and the 
minority, hoodwinked and wearied out, yielded. But no 

184 Lives of the Saints. [May 13. 

sooner had they returned to their sees, and discovered the 
treachery to which they had been victims, than they 
vehemently repudiated all sympathy with Arianism. 

Whilst S. Servais was engaged, after the council of 
Rimini, in confirming the faith of his flock, the Huns broke 
into Gaul, ravaging and slaying. He made a pilgrimage to 
Rome, and on his way back was taken by the Huns, and 
thrown into a dungeon. But a bright light filling his prison 
at night, the Huns were frightened and released him, and 
he hastened home over the Alps of Savoy and the Vosges. 

On his return to Tongres, he informed his people that 
they must not expect to escape the ravages of the Huns, 
and that he must leave them to seek elsewhere a peacefiil 
grave. He retired to Maestricht, where he died on May 
the 13th, 384. 

His relics are preserved in an ancient shrine at Maes- 

In Art he appears sometimes with an eagle over his 
head ; for, according to tradition, one day an eagle sheltered 
him from the sun with his expanded wings. But his special 
symbol is a silver key, which he is said by popular legend 
to have received from S. Peter himself in a vision, and this 
key was wrought in heaven by angelic hands. 

In truth the key was one of the claves confessionis S. 
Feiriy which the popes were wont to bestow on special 
favourites, and in which particles or filings of the chains of 
S. Peter were inserted. Pope Pelagius II. gave such a key 
of pure gold to the Lombard king, and S. Gregory the 
Great sent others to Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch,i the 
ex-consul John,* to the Bishop Columbus,^ to Childebert, 
king of the Franks,* and to Reccared, king of the 

^"Amatores autem vestri B. Petri Apostoli vobis claves transmisi quae super 
aegros positae multis solent miraculis coruscare." S. Greg. Magn. Opera, lib. i.> 

•Lib. i., Ep. 31. » Lib, iii., Ep. 48. « Lib. iv., Ep, 6. 

May 13.] S. y ohti tkc Sileutiary. 185 

Visigoths.^ These keys were called claves confessionis S, 
Petri^ because they were copies of the key which unlocked 
the crypt in which the body of the Prince of the Apostles 
lay, in the old basilica of S. Peter.2 

Pope Vitalian in 657, to take one more instance, sent 
such a key containing a filing of the chains of S. Peter, to 
the queen of Oswy, king of Northumberland.^ Such a 
key is preserved to this day at Li^ge, and others in the 
Middle Ages in Corsica and Laon. The workmanship of 
the key at Maastricht may belong to the 4th cent., but it 
certainly has all the appearance of belonging to the nth. 
It appears to have been gilt* 

At Maestricht are preserved also the drinking cup and 
the staff of the saint, as also ore his bones in one of the 
most splendid reliquaries of the Middle Ages that have 
been preserved to the present day. 


(a.d. 558.) 

[Romsin Martyrology. In the Menology of the Emperor Basil on Dec. 
8th ; but in the 3ynaxarium of the Church of Constantinople on Dec. 7th. 
Authority : — His life by Cyril the Monk, who wrote the lives of S. Sabas 
and S. Euthymius ; he was a contemporary and an eye-witness of most 
that he describes.] 

S. John the Silentiary was bom at Nicopolis of 
Armenia, on Jan. 8th, 454, of an honourable and wealthy 
family. Upon the death of his parents he divided the 

1 Lib. iz. Ep. 13a. « S. Greg. Turon. "De Gloria Martyrum/* lib. I. c. aS, 

s Bede, lib. iii„ c. 39, 
*The remark of the Pere Giry is too sublime in its superiority to common sense 
and critical acumen to be passed over. ** There are authors who think this key 
was given to S. Servais by the pope, and that it was one of those keys in which 
were inserted a filing of the chains of S. Peter. This is a conjecture which has 
some plausibility, but as it is Supported by no proof, it Is not to be compared to 
the tradition of the churches of Maestricht and Liege, which declares that this key 
was given by S. Peter himself;.* 


1 86 Lives of the Saints. [May 13; 

inheritance among his brothers, and shortly after retired 
into a cell with ten companions. He was then aged 
eighteen, and he spent ten years in solitude till he was 
drawn from it by the Bishop of Sebaste, who ordained him 
Bishop of Colonia. His sister was married to Pasinicus, 
governor of the province, a man who exercised tyrannical 
rule, and interfered with the bishops and other ecclesiastics 
in the discharge of their duties, so that after having been 
subjected to intolerable vexations, S. John was forced tc 
appeal to the emperor against his brother-in-law. As soon 
as he had obtained redress, he suddenly disappeared from 
his see, having wearied of its cares and responsibilities, 
and secreted himself in the laura of S. Sabas, in Pales- 
tine, where he was employed first in carrying stones for the 
labourers engaged in building, and afterwards as cook. 
Many years after, S. Sabas, admiring his virtue, brought him 
to Jerusalem to be ordained priest by the Patriarch Elias, 
but John asked to speak privately to the patriarch, and he 
told him that he was already a bishop. Elias then spoke 
to S. Sabas, saying, " John has revealed to me something 
which makes it impossible for me to ordain him." 

The venerable abbot burst into tears, thinking that the 
monk had fallen into some sin, and he spent many nights 
in prayer for him, till it was revealed to him that his con- 
jecture was erroneous, and then going to John he was told 
all. John afterwards retired into a hovel built against the 
face of a rock in the desert, and there he planted a fig, 
and it grew in the face of the crag and overshadowed his 
hut, and this caused much astonishment, for no figs grew 
in the garden of the laura. Now when an incursion of the 
Saracens filled all the land with fear, the monks sent to 
him to take refiige in their fortified monastery; but he 
refused, sa)dng, " If God will not protect me, why should I 
care?" And all the while the Saracens were devastating 

May 13] S. Roletiday V. 187 

MI^^M ■!! II I I II I ~ I I ■ 

the land a lion paced in the glen, or couched on the rock 
before his cell, and none dared approach. 
He died at the age of one hundred and four. 

(7TH OR 8th cent.) 

[Belgian Martyrologies and the Scottish Menology of Dempster. 
Authority : — ^A life written in the 12th century, based on tradition, wholly 

S. RoLENDA is said to have been the daughter of a 
Frank prince named Desiderius; and her hand to have 
been sought by a Scottish prince then serving in the court 
of the Frank monarch. In alarm the maiden fled to 
Cologne, where she purposed jcnning S. Ursula and her 
party of eleven thousand virgins, who she heard were on 
their way to Rome. But she fell sick and died at Gerpines, 
a village on a stream flowing into the Sambre above Namur. 

The relics are preserved at Gerpines and attract 
numerous pilgrims, and she is invoked against gravel and 
lumbago. A procession with her relics takes place annually 
on Whitsun Monday. 

1 88 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi4« 

May 14. 

SS. Victor and Corona, AfAf., in Egypt, cire, a.d. 177. 

S. Pontius, M. at Cimella, near Nice, in France, circ, a.d. a^y. 

S. Boniface, M, at Tarsus in Cilicia, a.d. 290. 

S. Pachomius, Jib. at tahenna in Egypt, a.d. 349 

S. Theodore, H. at Tahenna, a.d. 368. 

S> Ampelius, H, at Genoa, ^th cent, 

S. Boniface, B. cf Ferento in Italy, 6th cent, 

S. PoMPONius, B, 0/ Naples, cire. a.d. 536. 

S. Carthage, B. of Lismore, a.d. 637. 

S. Erembert, B, 0/ Toulouse, afterwards Mk, of Fontenelle, after a.d. 68o« 

S. Paschal I., Popetf Rome, a.d. 824. 

S. Halyard, M, in NorwSy, iitk cent, 


(about A.D. 257.) 

[Usoardtis and the Roman Martyrology. Authority :— His life by 
Valerius, his companion, an eye-witness of his passion. This has probably 
gone through amplifications, but in the main it is authentic. One mark of its 
authenticity is that there are no anachronisms in the names of popes and 
emperors, as is invariably the case in forgeries. At the same time it is un- 
questionable that late hands have done much to trick it out with exaggera- 
tion, long speeches, and marvels.] 

[T Rome lived a senator named Marcus and his 
wife Julia. One day when she was approaching 
her confinement, she visited the temple of Jupiter 
to ask an augury concerning the child that was to 
be bom; then the priest, veiling himself and puttingthe sacred 
fillet about his head, pretended to become filled with the spirit 
of prophecy, and he predicted thatruin should befall the temple 
through the unborn child. Juliaran homein horror, and struck 
herself with stones in hopes of destroying the child, and when, 
notwithstanding, it was born shortly after, she would have 
exposed it, had not her husband interfered, with the sensible 
remark that Jupiter was the one concerned in the child's 

May 140 6*. PofttiuS. 1 89 

living, and if the child was likely to be obnoxious to him 
he would have slain it As the boy grew up he was sent 
to a tutor. One morning very early he left his bed to 
seek his master, when, passing a house, he heard sweet 
strains of music issuing from it, subdued, but swelling and 
falling in cadence, like the voices of many people softly 
chanting. He crept to a place where he could hear the words, 
and they were these, "Wherefore shall the heathen say; 
Where is now their God ? As for our God, He is in heaven ; 
He hath done whatsoever pleased Him. Their idols are 
silver and gold ; even the work of men's hands. They have 
mouths and speak not ; eyes have they, and see not. 
They have ears, and hear not; noses have they, and 
smell not. They have hands, and handle not ; feet have 
they, and walk not; neither speak they through their 
throat. They that make them are like unto them ; and so 
are all such as put their trust in them. But thou house of 
Israel, trust thou in the Lord ; He is their succour and 
defence."^ As the boy stood listening to these solemn 
words before the house over which the morning star was 
paling, in the fresh air .of day-break, the light of conviction 
illumined his soul. This that he now heard was so 
different from the miserable popular idolatry of the masses, 
so different also from the abstract philosophy of his master, 
that he struck with hand and foot at the door, eager to hear 
more. The doorkeeper looked out at a window, and then 
turning to S. Pontianus, the bishop of Rome, who was within, 
said, " It is only a little fellow kicking at the door." " Well, 
open and let him in," said the pope, " for of such is the 
kingdom of heaven." So he was admitted and led up into 
the chamber where the sacred mysteries were celebrated, 
and when the sacred rite was over, he went to Pope Pon- 
tianus and said, with boyish confidence, " Teach me that 

* Ps. cxiii, (A.V. cxv. a-gj 

190 Lives of the Saints. [May 14, 

wonderful song about *our God who is in heaven, who 
hath done whatsoever pleaseth Him,' that I heard you 
singing, not long ago. And," added he, " it is all so true. 
You sang that they had feet and walked not. I know that 
they not only cannot move, but that people are afraid of their 
being blown over by the wind, or stolen, or knocked 
down by accident, and I have myself seen how they are 
fastened into their pedestals with melted solder or lead. 

Then the blessed Pontianus was astonished at the 
quickness of the boy, and he asked him, " Are your mother 
and father alive?" The boy Pontius answered, **My 
mother died two years ago, but father and grandfather are 
alive." "Are they heathens or Christians ? " " Christians 
they certainly are not." "Well, my child," said the bishop, 
" God in his own good time may enlighten thy father as 
He is illumining thee." And for three hours he instructed 
him in the rudiments of the faith. 

On his return home, Pontius was far too full of what he had 
heard to keep it to himself, so he went to his father and 
told him all. The father, Marcus, a sensible man, listened 
with interest, and eventually became a catechumen with his 
son, and was baptized. After his death, which took place 
when Pontius was aged twenty, the young man had liberty 
to do what he would with his goods, and he gave much to 
the bishop to be distributed among the poor. He saw 
Pontianus suffer a martyr's death, and he lived in dose 
familiarity with the humane Emperor Philip, with whom 
and his son Philip he had many opportunites of con- 
versing on the subject of Christianity. On the accession 
of Valerian and Gallienus to the throne, Pontius fled to 
Cimella, a city near the present Nice in the south of 
France, under the shelter of the Maritime Alps. There he 
was arrested by the governor, Claudius, who exposed him 
to bears in the amphitheatre, but the bears hugged to death 


May 14.] S. Boniface. 191 

two " venatores,'' men armed with whips and goads who 
tried to urge them against the martyr, and then lay down 
on the sand in the sunshine, without attempting to injure 
him. Seeing this, the governor ordered him to be decapi- 
tated, and his order was promptly executed. 

His relics are said to be preserved in- the monastery of 
S. Pont^, near Nice ; but his head was anciently shown at 


(A.D. 290.) 

{Roman Martyrolog^ ; in the Greek Menaea on December 19th. AU' 
thority : — The Acts, which may in the main be true, but which are 
certainly not ancient and trustworthy as a whole.] 

Boniface was a debauched, drunken fellow, a servant 
of Aglae, daughter of the pro-consul Acacius, who lived on 
terms of undue familiarity with his mistress, in the reigns 
of Diocletian and Maximus. But one day, at Tarsus, he 
saw some Christian martyrs hung up over a slow fire by 
their hands tied behind their backs ; others with their flesh 
torn off by scrapers; others with their hands cut off. 
The sight of their constancy and faith so overpowered him, 
that he ran up to them and besought them to pray for him, 
for he was a miserable sinner. ^\itVL feeling the pricking 
of his conscience, and an earnest resolve to submit to any 
torment to redeem the past, he delivered himself up to the 
governor, and declared himself to be a Christian. He was 
tortured in the most excruciating manner, and was then 
decapitated when more dead than alive, and so received 
the baptism of blood. 

Relics in the church of S. Alexis at Rome. 

192 Lives of tlie Saints. [May 14. 


(A.D. 368.) 

[Th'? Menology of the Emperor Basil on May 6th ; the Menaea on May 
X5th, Bede, Usuardus, Ado, Notker, and the Roman Martyrology on 
May 14th. Authority : — His life written by a monk of Tabenna, his 
disciple, who had seen him, as he says himself. Sozomen also praises 
S. Pachomius in his EccL History, lib. iii., c. 14.3 

S. Pachomius was the child of heathen parents in 
Upper Egypt. He was first attracted to Christianity by 
the charity of the Christians towards himself and some 
young companions when they had been taken by conscrip- 
tion to serve in a war that was being carried on. When 
the war was at an end, and he was released from military 
service, he placed himself under instruction, and was 
baptized. Shortly after he made the acquaintance of the 
hermit Palsemon (January nth), and became his disciple. 
After some years S. Pachomius felt himself called to found 
a monastery at Tabenna; he communicated his purpose to 
S. Palsemon, who at once followed his disciple and took 
up his abode with him. 

'The rule of S. Pachomius was very simple. Each 
brother was allowed to eat and drink as much as he 
thought fit. All were required to work, but the work was 
to be adapted to their ages and constitutions. 

The monks were to live three together in separate cells^ 
but all were to assemble in a refectory for their meals, and 
in the church for divine service. 

They were to wear linen" nightshirts when they went to 
bed, and white girded goatskins night and day; when 
they approached the altar to communicate they were to 
come in their hoods, and with ungirded loins, without their 
goatskins. They were not to lie flat on their backs in 
sleeping, but in chairs with sloping backs. They were to 
be classified according to their proficiency, each class to 

Mayi4. S. PacJiomius. 193 

be designated by a letter of the alphabet. Thus I repre- 
sented the very docile, Z the very troublesome. 

The number of his disciples grew so rapidly that the 
monastery of Tabenna would not contain them all, and he 
was obliged to found others, one in a desert called Pabau, 
another at Thebeu, another at Panes, another at Men, 
another at Pachnum or Chnum, on the Nile, near Latopolis. 
All these foundations were in Upper Egypt, and not far 
from one another. Latopolis is the modern Esneh. The 
situation of Tabenna is not so certain. It was probably 
near Dendera. 

Many stories of the patience of Pachomius are related. 
One or two must suffice. An abbot of another monastery 
had been pestered by one of his monks, who solicited the 
office of steward to the monastery. The abbot refused, 
and thinking that the name of Pachomius would carry 
weight, said what was untrue, that he was acting on the 
advice of that father. The monk, very angry, rushed to 
Tabenna, and caught Pachomius engaged with some of his 
brethren in building a wall. He stormed at him for his 
interference, to the great surprise and no small perplexity 
of the abbot S. Pachomius, however, did not lose his 
temper, but said meekly, as he proceeded with his build- 
ing, *' I grieve, my brother, that I have done wrong ; I 
apologize to thee and ask pardon of God." A moment 
after the superior of the monk came up, much ashamed of 
himself, and told S. Pachomhis what was the meaning of 
this scene. The old abbot mused a moment, and then 
said, **The fellow has set his heart on the office, and if it 
be refused him any longer, he will fall into spite and 
passion, therefore let him have his desire." And it was so, 
that when the monk was offered the stewardship, he saw 
how wrong he had been, and refused to accept it. 

S. Pachpmius was gifted with great discretion in ruling his 

VOL. V. 13 

194 Lives oftlie Saints, cMay^. 

monks. A monk had platted two mats one day instead of one, 
and that others might admire his industry, he hung up his 
palm-mats before his door in the sight of the commimity. 
" Take the mats to the refectory and into the church," said 
Pachomius, " and then none can possibly fail to see how 
industrious you have been." Then the monk was ashamed, 
and saw that he had given way to vanity. Another monk 
fasted excessively, and said very long prayers. Pachomius 
feared that he did it out of self-esteem rather than out of 
genuine piety, so he bade him eat the vegetables and soup 
that were served in the refectory, and not pray except in 
church with the rest of the brethren. The monk was 
highly indignant and refused to obey. " I thought there 
was no true humility in his asceticism," said the abbot ; 
"now run, Theodore, to his cell and see what he is about." 
His disciple Theodore went, and found the monk praying, 
so he returned and told his master. "Go and interrupt 
him several times." So Theodore went, and presently 
disturbed him again. At last the monk's temper got the 
better of him, and swearing at Theodore, he caught up a 
stick and plunged after him to chastise him. "Ah !" said 
Pachomius, "now it is quite evident that he needs true 
conversion." • 

A monk repeatedly besought Pachomius to pray for him, 
that he might become a martyr. The abbot reproved him, 
" Tliis is mere pride," said he. But the man continued to 
entreat him. " Go thy way, my son," said Pachomius, one 
day; "behold now is the accepted day, behold now is 
the day of salvation ; nevertheless, be not high-minded, but 
fear 1" and he sent him out to the banks of the Nile to cut 
rushes. Whilst he was thus engaged some Blemmians, a 
negro people apparently, took him, and carrying him off, 
with his hands tied behind his back, to the mountains, 
placed him before a fetish, and insisted on his adoring it 

May If.] S. Pacho7nius. 195 

He refused, but the negroes howled and danced round him, 
brandishing their spears and swords, and then all his cour- 
age gave way, and he prostrated himself before the image. 
After this he was let go, and he returned to the monastery 
overwhelmed with shame. 

One day ^Pachomius visited one of his monasteries. 
Then a young brother complained to him that no salads 
and cooked vegetables had been served on table for a long 
time, but on'y bread and salt The venerable abbot went 
into the kitchen, where he found the cook platting mats. 
^*How is this?" exclaimed the saint "What is there for 
dinner to-day?" " Bread and salt" "But the rule com- 
mands vegetables and soup." " My father, so many of the 
monks deny themselves anything except bread, and it is 
such trouble preparing the vegetables and the salads, and 
besides it is so disappointing to see them come from tabic 
almost untouched, when I have spent so much time in 
getting them ready, that I thought I could employ my time 
more profitably in making mats." 

" And, prithee, how long has the table been without 
vegetables on it" "Some two or three months." "Bring 
all the mats thou hast made here and show me them." So 
the cook with no small pride produced them, and piled 
them up before the abbot Then Pachomius^ plucked a 
brand from the fire and set them all in a blaze. " What !" 
said he, " withdraw from some of the monks the oppor- 
tunity of denying themselves, and from those who are 
sickly the necessary delicacies, and from the young their 
needful support, because it gives thee a little trouble, and 
because thou thoughtest thou couldest do better platting. 
To obey is better than sacrifice." 

He was wont every day to preach to his monks ; but 
one day he told his disciple Theodore, who was only 
twenty years old, and looked much younger, to take his 

196 Lives of the Saints. cMavM. 

place. Some of the older monks were surprised and in- 
dignant at seeing a beardless stripling rise up to instruct 
them, and they stalked out of the church with a con- 
temptuous shrug of the shoulders. The abbot sent for 
them. "My sons," said he, "you turned your backs — I 
beg you to bear it well in mind — upon the Word of God. 
Despise no man's youth. I listened, and my soul was 

Having built a handsome church and adorned it with 
pillars, he entered it, when complete, with some of his 
monks, and was suddenly aware of a spirit of pride rising 
in his heart at the beauty of the building that had risen 
from his designs, and under his supervision. "Quick,'* 
called he to his companions, "get ropes and pull these 
pillars a little out of the perpendicular, to tease my eye 
whenever I enter this house of God." 

A plague broke out in the monastery of Tabenna, and 
carried off a hundred of the monks. S. Pachomius was 
himself attacked, and died in the fifty-seventh year x)f his 
age and the thirty-fifth of his monastic life. 


(a.d. 637.) 

[Tallaght and other Irish Martyrologies ; also the Anglican Martyr- 
ology of WytfcMTd. Greven in his additions to Molanus, on May 13th ; 
so also Canisius in his German Martyrology, and Ferrarius in his 
General Catalogue of the Saints, but the Irish Martyrologies and the 
Bollandists on the 14th. Authority :— Two lives, ancient, but long subse- 
quent to S. Carthage, and based on tradition.] 

S. Carthagh of Lismore is sometimes called S. Carthagh 
the Younger, to distinguish him from his master, S. Car- 
thagh the Elder. In all probability it is a mistake to call 
tim Carthagh, for his baptismal name seems to have been 


Mayx4.] S. Cartfiagky or Mochtcda, 197 

Chudd (Cuddy), and S. Carthagh, his master, called hiiii 
Mochuda, or My Cuddy, and as he was often termed 
S. Carthagh's Mochuda, to describe him as a disciple of 
that saint, this led to his being supposed to have borne the 
same name as his master. 

He was a native of Kerry, and is said to have been of 
noble family. Yet we find him, when a boy, employed in 
tending his father's swine near the banks of the river 
Maug, when Providence put him in the way of being intro- 
duced to the hply Bishop Carthagh the Elder. It is related 
that, as the bishop and some of his clergy were passing 
through the neighbourhood chanting psalms, which they 
probably accompanied on harps, they were overheard by 
the young Cuddy, who was so delighted with their psal- 
mody, that forsaking his swine, he followed them as far as 
the monastery of Thuaim, in the barony of Barrets (county 
Cork), and there he remained the night He did not 
enter the monastery, but unknown to the bishop and the 
TOonks, remained outside near the chamber allotted to the 
bishop's parly, listening to them, as they sang till the hour 
cf sleep. In the meantime Moeltuili, the chief, uneasy at 
Mochuda not returning in the evening with his herd of 
45wine, sent his servants in all directions to seek him, and 
far on in the night he was found crouched under the walls 
of the monastery. He was brought to the castle of Moel- 
tuili, who next day asked him what liad induced him to 
run away and desert his charge. 

"My lord," answered Mochuda, "I was so bewitched 
with the song of the bishop and his clergy, that I followed 
them, longing to hear more of, and to learn those sweet 
strains." The chief at once sent for the bishop, and bade 
him take the young swineherd under his care, and instruct 
him in religion. The bishop gladly obeyed, and in due 
course promoted Mochuda to the priesthood This waa 


1 98 Lives of tlie Saints. [Mayi#» 

probably about the year 580. Mochuda then constructed a. 
cell, called Killtulach, somewhere not far from Maug; but he^ 
did not remain there long ; for, we are told, he went thence" 
to Bangor, to place himselt under the direction of S. 
Comgall, and, after having made some stay there, he- 
returned to Kerry, where he laboured as a missionary 
priest. Next we find him visiting S. Molua of Clonfert-^ 
molua, and afterwards Colman-elo, with whom he wished 
to remain, but the saint advised him to form an (establish- 
ment for himself at a place not far distant, called Trathyne, 
in Westmeath. S. Mochuda acted as he was directed, and 
there built a monastery, which soon became celebrated. 
He drew up a rule for the direction of his monks, wha 
flocked to him from all quarters, and at length he had as- 
many as eight hundred and sixty-seven under his charge. 

Whilst abbot of Rathyne he was consecrated bishop.. 
In 630 he was expelled with all his monks by Blathmac,. 
the prince of that district, and he went to Drumcuillin (in 
the barony of English, adjoining Munster), the monastery 
of S. Barrlndeus, and having stopped there a while, he 
proceeded to Saighir, and then to Roscrea, and thence to 
Cashel, where he was kindly received by the king, Failbhe 
Fland, who offered him a place for erecting a monastery, 
and whom he cured of an inflamed eye. Declining this 
offer, the saint went to Ardfinan, and there erected a cell, 
but shortly after Moelochlride, prince of Nandesi, made 
him a grant of the district in which Lismore is situated. 
Thither he moved, and there he foimded a monastery and 
a see, and the place becoming populous, acquired the 
name of Lismore (Liosmor, the great village.) Shortly 
after he had completed his establishment, he died, having 
spent the last eighteen months of his life in retirement, in 
a lone portion of the valley to the east of the town. He 
was burled at Lismore, of which he was the first bishop. 

Mayi|.] S. Paschal /. 199 

(a.d. 824.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Authorities :— His life by Anastasius the 
Librarian, almost a contemporary, and mention in Eginhard's Annals, 
Thegan's life of Louis the Pious, and the anonymous author, commonly 
called the Astronomer, in his life of the Emperor Louis the Pious, all 
contemporary \vriters.] 

Pope Leo III. and the Romans had been in constant 
feud; and he was obliged to appeal to Charlemagne to 
support him against his rebellious vassals. A conspiracy 
was formed in 815 to depose Pope Leo and to put him to 
death. Leo attempted to suppress the tumult with un- 
wonted vigour; he seized, and publicly executed the 
conspirators. The city burst into rebellion. Rome became 
a scene of plunder, carnage and conflagration. Intelli- 
gence was rapidly conveyed to the court of Louis the 
Pious, who had succeeded Charlemagne. He sent his 
kinsman Bernard to interpose, and whilst he was in Rom.e 
all was quiet. But no sooner had he withdrawn than, on 
the illness of Leo, a new insurrection broke out The 
Romans sallied forth, plundered and burned the farms on 
the pope's estates in the neighbourhood. They were only 
compelled to peace by the armed interference of the Duke 
of Spoleto. 

The death of Leo, and the unpopular election of his 
successor, Stephen IV., exasperated rather than allayed 
the tumult; and in the third month of his pontificate, 
Stephen was compelled to take refuge, or seek protection, 
at the feet of the emperor, against his intractable subjects. 
In Rome the awe of Louis commanded at least some 
temporary cessation of the conflict, and a general amnesty. 
. Stephen returned to Rome, and died almostly immediately 
after, in 817. 

On his death, Paschal I. was chosen by the impatient 

200 Lives of the Saints. cMay 14. 

clergy and people, and compelled to assume the pontifir 
cate without the Imperial sanction. But Paschal was too 
prudent to defy the emperor and entail thereby on his 
people a sharp castigation, he therefore sent a deprecatory 
embassy across the Alps, throwing the blame of his ele- 
vation on the disloyal precipitancy of the people. 

Louis sent his son Lothair to be king of Italy and the 
Rhine country, invested with imperial dignity. Lothair visited 
Rome to be crowned by Pope Paschal, and to reduce the 
turbulent Romans to obedience. Hardly, however, had he 
recrossed the Alps when he was overtaken with intelligence 
of new tumults. 

Two men of the highest rank, Theoderic, Primicerius 
of the church, and Leo the Nomenclator, had been seized, 
dragged to the Lateran palace, blinded, and afterwards 
beheaded. The faction opposed to the pope accused him 
of being privy to, if not the instigator of this inhuman 
act^ Two imperial commissioners, Adelung, abbot of 
S. Vedast, and Hunfred, count of Coire, were despatched 
with full power from the emperor to investigate the affair. 
The imperial commissioners were baffled in their inquiry. 
Paschal refused to produce the murderers; he asserted that 
they were guilty of no crime in putting to death men them- 
selves guilty of treason; he secured them by throwing 
around them a half-sacred character as servants of the 
church of S. Peter.* Himself he exculpated by a solemn 
expurgatorial oath, before thirty bishops, from all participa- 
tion in the deed. The emperor received with respect the 
exculpation of the pope, sent him by legates, John, bishop of 
Silva Candida, the librarian Sergius, and two others. On 

>«*Erant ct qui dixerunt, veljassu vel consilio Paschalis Pontificis rem fulssc 
rcrpetratam."— Eginhard, Annal. sub ann. 823. * Qua in re lama Pontificia 
quoque Indebatur, dum ejus consensu! tctum ascriberetur." — ^Vita S* Hludovici 
imp. auct. anonym. 

* Thegan., Vit. Hludovic. apud Pertz, c. 30. Eginhard sub ann. 

Mayno S. Paschal I. 20 1 

their return to Rome they found the pope dying, and he 
expired on May the nth, 824, after having occupied the 
see seven years, three months, and seventeen days. 

Paschal has made himself to be remembered by his care 
for the churches in Rome, many of which he restored or 
rebuilt with great splendour. He discovered the body of 
S. Cecilia. From the year 500 there had been a church in 
Rome dedicated to the Virgin Martyr, but it had fallen 
into decay. Pope Paschal began to rebuild it, but he 
hardly hoped to find the body of the saint, thinking it might 
have been lost or carried away by the Lombards when 
they besieged Rome, under their King Astolf, in 755. But 
one morning, as the pope was assisting at matins, he fell 
asleep, and saw S. Cecilia in a dream, who told him where 
her body lay, in the catacomb of Praetextatus on the 
Appian way. 

In the persecution of the Iconoclasts at Constantinople, 
the patriarch Theodotus, who had been intruded into the 
see, wrote to him, but the pope refused to receive his letters. 
He received letters from the great champion of the images, 
S. Theodore of the Studium, and wrote to Constantinople 
in hopes of allaying the violence of the persecutors, but in 

It is not very clear what claims S. Paschal has to his 
place among the Saints, as little is known of him that gives 
token of his having been at all eminent in sanctity, and in 
the case of the murder of the two men in his palace, he 
acted with unquestionable indiscretion, to use the mildest 
term by which his conduct can be designated. Though he 
may not have been iii any way guilty of the crime that was 
committed, he was certainly wrong in screening the mur- 
•derers from justice. 

202 Lives of the Saints. May 14, 

(a.d. 1043.) 

[Scandinavian and Utrecht Martyrologies. Authority: — The Utrecht 
Breviary ; the Saga of Ingi Haraldsonar, that of Sigurd Slembidiakn,^ 
the Knytlinga Saga, the Elder Olafs Saga him Helga, the Fragm. His- 
tor. S. Hallvardi in Langebek, T. III., p. 603, the Histor. Vitae et Passionis 
S. Halvardi, in the same, p. 604, and the Nidaros Breviary, p. 606. The 
Icelandic Annals give the date of his death as 104.3.J 

S. Hallvard, a son of Tomey, sister of Olaf the Fat, king 
of Norway,^ was a youth of blithe countenance, pure morals, 
and honourable conduct. He went trading in the Baltic, 
and came to the island of Gothland, where he was well 
received by a rich man named Botvid, who foretold that 
he would be glorious in his future career. Next sprii!ig 
Hallvard sailed trading, and as he was one day thrusting 
his boat from the land, a pregnant woman came running 
and implored to be taken into his boat Seeing her sorely 
distressed, he complied. Immediately three men rushed 
to the shore, and shouted to him to give her up, as she 
had stolen something. "How so?" asked Hallvard. 
"She broke into the house of our brother last night."" 
" How did she break in ? " asked the young man. " She 
smashed the iron handle and wrenched out the staple.'* 
" No woman could have done that," said Hallvard ; " it 
must have been the work of a strong man." Then the 
poor woman, sobbing, flung herself at his feet, and implored 
him not to give her up, swearing that she was innocent. 
Then Hallvard, standing in the stern of the boat said, " I 
believe that she is guiltless, but guilty or not guilty, she is in. 
no condition to be hunted and ill-treated. I will pay yoa 

^ These mention only circumstances connected with the fortunes of the shrine- 
of S. Halvard. 

* The mother of Thomcy was the daughter of Gud brand, the father of Aska 
mother of S. Olaf. 


Mayx4.] 6*. Hallvard. 203 

tlie value of what you allege she stole." But one of the 
men suddenly drew a bow, and shot, and the arrow entered 
Hallvard's heart and he sank down in the boat dead. 
Then the men rushed into the water, dragged the poor 
woman out, hung a stone round her neck, and flung her 
into the sea. In 1130 a stone church stood at Oslo, where 
the. body of the saint was enshrined, and his festival began 
to be observed about the same period. 

His symbol in Art is a halbert^ a play on his name. 

*• -^ 



504 Lives of the Saints. tMayi,'. 

May 15. 

Thb Coming of SS* Torquatus, Ctesiphon, Secundus, Lvoalessus, 

Cacilius, Hesychius, Euphrasius, be. to Spairit ist cent. 
S. Isidore, M* in ChioSf a.d. 2^0. 
SS. Peter, Andrew, Paul, MM., Dionysia, F,M» at Lampsacus, 

A«D. 250 • 
.*SS. Castus, V1CT0RIKU8, Maximus, and Comp., MM, at Clermont in 

France, circ. a.d. 364. 
S* SiMPLicius, M. in Sardinia. 
S. Primael, P.H. in Brittany, 6th cent, 
S. Mantius, M, at Evora in Portugalf6th cent.*- 
SS. Dymphna, F.M,, AND Gere BERN, P,M, at Gheel in Belgium, 

fjth cent, 
S. CssAREA, F", near Castro in Otranto* 
S. Britvvin, Ab. of Beverley, a.d. 733. 
S* Rupert, Count Palatini of the Rhine, and B. Bertha, his 

Mother, at Bingen on the Rhine, gth cent, 
S. NicoL\s THE Mystic, Pat. of Constantinople, a.d. 92^. 


(iST CENT.) 

[Usuardus on this day. From him Baronius adopted this festival into 
the Modem Roman Breviary. But in Spain on May ist, except in the 
Compostella Missal, where it is observed on May 7th. This is the festival 
of the coming of these seven bishops of Spain, but each is separately 
commemorated. S. Euphrasius on Jan. Z4th, S. Csecilius on Feb. ist, S. 
Hesychius on March ist, S. Clesiphon on April zst, S. Indalesius on April 
30th, S. Secundus on May nth, and S. Torquatus on this day alone. 
There is no evidence, except tradition, to authorize the statement in some of 
the Martyrologies, that they were ordained by the Apostles Peter and Paul 
and sent into Spain, but there is nothing improbable in it. Gregory VII., 
in a letter to King Alphonso, mentions the tradition.] 

jCCORDING to the legend, which, however, is 
of littl§ historical value, these seven bishops 
were sent by SS. Peter and Paul to preach tlie 
Word of God in Spain. They arrived at Guadix* 

^ Another victim to the Jews. The Acts are fabulous. The Jews try to per* 
■Hade Mantius to worship their ** false gods i " At Evora on the azst May. 
* Said to be the most ancient bishopric in Spain* It i$ in Granada, 

May 15.] 6'6'. Peter, Andrew y Pauly &c. 205 

and pitched their tent in a flowery meadow near the city, 
and sent servants into Cadiz to buy them food. There 
was at that time a great feast of the idols celebrating in 
Guadix. The pagans set upon the Christians, and drove 
them out of the town and pursued them to the river, when 
suddenly there appeared a stone bridge over which they 
escaped ; but when the heathens pursued them, the bridge 
gave way, and they perished in the waters of the Guadia. 
This was the occasion of the conversion of many who saw 
the marvel. 



(about A.D. 250.) 

fAncient Martyrology, attributed to S. Jerome, Usuardus, Ado, Notices 
and Modem Roman Martyrology. By the Greeks on separate days, on 
May 15th, i6th, and i8th. Authority :— The ancient and apparently 
trustworthy Acts.] 

At Lampsacus, the modern Chardah in Turkey in Asia, a 
young Christian named Peter, comely in body and fair in 
soul, was brought before the pro-consul Optimus, who said 
to him, "You see the commands of the unconquered 
emperors. Sacrifice to the great goddess Venus." " What I" 
exclaimed Peter, " to one whose life was a scandal, and 
who if she now lived in this town you would summon before^ 
your tribunal and order to the lock-up for her dissolute 
conduct ! I have no mind to worship a harlot." It was too 
true, and the pro-consul felt it was so, and therefore had 
recourse to the only argument left to the powerful when 
defeated in a contest of words — violence. He ordered 
Peter to be attached to a wheel, his legs and arms twisted 
among the spokes, and held in place with iron chains. 
After he had borne this torture with great patience some 

2o6 Lives of tJie Saints. [May 15. 

little while, the pro-consul ordered his head to be struck off. 
And so he gained his palm. 

After this the pro-consul went to Troas, and there three 
Christians were brought before him, named Andrew, Paul, 
and Nicomachus. The governor began with Nicomachus, 
who, on professing himself to be a Christian, was hung up 
by the wrists and tortured. In his agony under the flames, 
red hot pincers, and iron rakes, he shrieked out, " Let me 
down ; I will sacrifice !" So he was cast down. And 
instantly he was seized with madness, and cried^ and bit 
the dust, and expired foaming. 

Then a young girl in the crowd, looking on, named 
Dionysia, aged sixteen, cried out, " Oh wretched man ! for 
one hour's respite to have to endure endless torment" 
The pro-consul angrily asked who cried this, and ordered 
her to be brought before him. Dionysia, a fair young 
maiden, modestly blushing, stood before his tribunal. 
Optimus bade her sacrifice, and threatened to have her 
burnt alive if she refused But Dionysia firmly protested 
that she was a Christian, and that Christ would give her 
constancy to bear every torture he might devise against her. 
Then with that horrible, fiendish malice that characterised 
many of the heathen governors when dealing with Christian 
maidens, he gave her to two young men to take with them 
and insult. But Christ was with His martyr, and he sent 
an angel, and all night long a white silvery figure, as of 
moonshine, stood with a drawn sword of light extended over 
the maiden guarding her from harm. 

Now when morning dawned the mob assembled, headed 
by two priests of Diana, roaring for their prey, and the 
pro-consul opened the prison and brought forth Andrew 
and Paul, and delivered them to the crowd. With a shout 
the mob rushed away, dragging the two Christians with 
them to a place outside the walls, where they stoned them. 

Mayi^j SS. Dymphna and Gerebern. 207 

But Dionysia heard the roar of fierce voices, like the roar 
of wild beasts, as the crowd rolled down the street, and she 
burst forth and ran after the martyrs, and forced her way 
through the crowd and flung herself on the bodies. Then, 
when Optimus heard what had taken place, he said, 
^* Strike off her head,'' and he was obeyed. 


(7TH CENT.) 

[Roman and Belgian Maityrologies. The translation of S. Dymphna 
on Oct. 27th, that of S. Geret)ern on July soth. There is no ancient 
account of the martyrdom of these saints, which rests on tradition, and 
there can be little doubt that there is much fable in the story — indeed, it 
is difficult to conjecture how much of truth is enshrined in the popular 
romance of S. Dymphna.'] 

CiiEEL is one of the villages of North Brabant, situated 
an the sandy Kempenland, near the ancient town of 
Herrenthals. It has that quaint Dutch toy-like character 
which marks, more or less, all Flemish villages. It con- 
sists principally of one long straggling street, which appears 
wider than it really is, because of the unpretending archi- 
tecture and low stature of the houses. But it contains two 
ancient chtirches, one of which contains the shrine of S. 
Dymphna, and around this shrine the interest and im- 
portance of Gheel centres. 

In the 7th century, the legend relates, a heathen Irish 
prince — according to another version a British king — had a 
very beautiful wife, whom he passionately loved. But she 
died, leaving behind her a daughter aged sixteen, as 

1 There is every appearance of all the earlier part of the story being localizatioa 
• of the wide-spread honsehold tale "Catskin/* the German ^'Allerleiraach/'Orimm's 
Kinder Mahrcben 6^. The story is found among the HighlanJers, Neapolitans, 
X^reeks, Germansj Lithuanian^ Hnngarians, &c» 

2o8 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi^, 

beautiful, and the living image of herself. The maiden had 
been baptized, and was called Dymphna, 

Now the king had resolved to marry no one who was 
not as beautiful as his wife, and one who resembled her, sa 
that her image might never fade from his heart ; and when 
no one else could be found combining these qualities, he 
resolved to marry his own daughter. Dymphna, in alarm, 
took counsel of her mother's aged chaplain, a priest named 
Gerebem, and he advised her to fly the country with him. 
She accordingly escaped with the old man in a ship bound 
for Antwerp, and landing there, took their course over the 
heathy Kempenland to a little chapel dedicated to S. 
Martin, where they purposed to serve God in prayer and 
in peace, among the simple villagers, and in the face of 
calm nature. 

Meanwhile the king, having discovered the flight of his 
daughter and the aged Gerebem, tracked them in hot 
haste, discovered the route they had followed, pursued 
them with an armed force, and arriving at Antwerp, sent 
emissaries in every direction, to scour the country, and 
report their whereabouts. Halting at a village not far from 
Herenthals, called Oolen, a party of these scouts tendered 
in payment at the inn where they were lodged, some pieces 
of money which the hostess refused to accept, alleging that 
she had already been troubled enough with some similar 
coins, which she had had the greatest difficulty to pass. 
Further enquiries led to the discovery of the place of 
refuge of the princess. 

No sooner was the king apprised of the fact than he- 
started for the spot indicated, and entering the house where 
his daughter was, commanded her at once to make prepar- 
ations for her marriage with him. Dymphna, mildly but 
firmly declared that nothing would induce her to consent 
to so odious a prc^osaL The king's rage knew no bounds. 

MayiM ^yvS. Dyniphfia and Gerebern. 209 

Dymphna neither lost her composure, nor wavered in her 
reply ; she fell on her knees and besought the protection 
of God. The tyrant, now more exasperated than before, 
called to his attendants to seize the maiden and despatch 
her. But not one of them moved ; they seemed awed by 
the youth, beauty, and innocence of the defenceless victim. 
On this the king, no longer able to contain himself, fell 
upon her himself, seizing her by her long waving hair, and 
mortally wounding Gerebem, who tried to throw himself 
between them. With a cry of horror Dymphna sank at 
his feet, bathed in the blood of her old and trusted friend, 
and as she lay there swoonmg and helpless, the barbarous 
father severed her beautiful head from her body. Having 
perpetrated this crime, he hastened from the spot, and 
returned to his northern home. 

The blood of these saintly martyrs had, however, irri- 
gated the ground for some purpose; for, says the legend, so 
numerous were the miracles which occurred on the conse- 
crated spot, that the circumstance led the inhabitants 
to search for their bones among the heather which 
covered the place. Excavations were accordingly made, 
and, to the surprise of those who directed the operations, 
they came upon two magnificent white marble tombs, 
adorned with elaborate sculpture and enriched with gilding, 
the handiwork of angels, who in the night time had come 
down from heaven to enshrine their remains, but which 
were in all probability two Roman sarcophagi used for the 
purpose, for Roman remains found in the neighbourhood 
of Gheel show that the place was occupied by the con- 
querors of the world. 

Maniacs recovered at the tomb of S. Dymphna, and 
thenceforth S. Dymphna became the patroness of the 
insane. All the people in the neighbourhood sent their 
lunatics to the village which formed "itself round S. Martin's 

VOL. v. 14 

2IO Lives of ilie Saints. [Mayi^ 

chapel, believing that proximity to the shrine of the saintly 
virgin would be the means of their recovering their reason. 
The sufferers were allowed to board with the peasants, 
and as many went away healed, the fame of Gheel 

About the year 1200, a church was dedicated to the 
saint, on the spot where the murder had been com- 
mitted. This church retains its curious interest. Above 
the altar is a figure of S. Dymphna, in a cloud, im- 
ploring the divine mercy for several lunatics grouped 
around her, their hands and feet bound by golden 
chains, similar to those still used to fetter the most violent 

Gheel is administered by four doctors and one superin- 
tendent. The peasants in the place are all nurses, and 
take in one or two patients to board with them. They 
have to submit to the inspection of the doctors, and to the 
rules imposed by the administration. The lunatic, once 
fixed in his abode, becomes one of the family, and many 
have been the touching scenes of aflfection, when for some 
reason they have been obliged to part. The nurse takes 
pride in his charge ; his own children are brought up with 
the stranger, and it is affirmed that a Gheelois would be 
the last man on earth to lose his senses. The lunatic 
gradually takes an interest in those around him ; he sees 
them at work in the fields, and gradually follows their 
example, being prompted thereto by offers of pocket 
money. An energetic lunatic is of great value to his 
keeper, and this is the reason why those inclined to be 
violent are always preferred. Thus the poor lunatic, im- 
prisoned elsewhere, is free at Gheel, though cared for by 
the most experienced men. The country air is invigorating, 
daily labour checks melancholy, and above all the kindness 
of the nurses helps the lunatic to live a peaceful life. His 

May IS.] S. Ccesarea. 211 

mind, no longer irritated by captivity and asylum rules, 
gives fair hope of recovery.^ 

The relics of S. Dymphna are exhibited at Gheel, in a 
handsome shrine, and are carried in procession round the 
village, followed by the inhabitants and lunatics, on May 
15th, every year j on each day of the octave, the lunatics 
crawl on all fours round and under the shrine nine times, 
and the same is done by those who are seeking the inter- 
cession of the saint for relatives or friends mentally 

The relics of S. Gerebem were translated to the Sons- 
beck, near Xanten, on the Rhine, but the head is still 
preserved at GkeeL 

(date uncertain.) 

[Her festiTal is observed on the Feast of the Ascension, which is move- 
able, but which generally falls in May. The story is legendary, and much 
resembles that of S. Dymphna, except in its termination.] 

The romantic story of S. Csesarea is an Italian version of 
the Flemish legend of S. Dymphna, but with elements of 
beauty absent from the history of the northern saint. 
There was a rich man named Aloysius, of Franca-villa, 
near Castro by Otranto, in South Italy, who was married 
to a beautiful wife, rflimed Lucretia. On the death of 
Lucretia, Aloysius was inconsolable, and resolved on 
marrying his daughter Csesarea, who resembled her mother 
exactly. The maiden took counsel of a hermit who had 
directed her mother, and whose name was Joseph Benigni, 
and he advised her to fly. So one night she told her father 

^ For farther information about this very original and interesting colony see 
Mrs. Byrne's ** Gheel, or the City of the Simple." Ctiapman and Hallj 1869. 

212 Lives of the Saints. [May x^. 

she was going to have a bath, and she tied two pigeons 
together by the legs, and threw them into a tub full of 
water. Then he, hearing the splashing in her room, made 
by the birds fluttering their wings in the water, had not 
his suspicions aroused. Next morning he found that she 
had escaped, and he set off in pursuit. During the night she 
had wandered near the sea, and her father saw her in the 
distance on the shore. With a shout he pursued her, but 
just as he approached, a sea-mist rose and enveloped him, 
so that he lost his way, and falling over some rocks, was 
drowned, but to her the rock gaped, and she saw a cavern 
full of light, and she went in, and the rock closed behind 

And there sits the virgin Csesarea in a brilliantly lighted 
hall in the sea-cliff, only seen by lucky mortals. On 
Ascension Eve, and through the Octave, sometimes those 
who are on the. shore, or boatmen at sea, perceive the 
cave open, and rays of light shoot out from it \ and once a 
little boy, straying on the sands, was lost. A year after he 
returned to his parents, and told a wondrous tale of a 
beautiful maiden in a lighted hall in the rock who had 
sheltered him from the rising tide, and in one half hour, as 
he thought, passed in her presence, a whole twelvemonth 
had rolled away. 

Throughout the Octave of the Ascension the people of 
the neighbouring country visit the cave of S. Csesarea on 
the shore, and carry away water from a fountain strongly 
impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen which rises in the 
floor. Near the cave is a church dedicated to the saint, 
and in it on the Ascension is sung a mass in her honour, 
attended by the chapter of the collegiate church of Castro ; 
after which a fair is held there. 

It is in this case very evident that popular tradition has 
attached legendary matter of a mythological character to 

my 15] S. Briiwin. 213 

the memory of a virtuous and persecuted maiden, who 
probably perished among the rocks at Castro. 


(a.d. 733.) 

[Wytford, in his Anglican Martyrology, printed in 1526 ; Wilson and 
Mayhew in theirs ; and the Benedictine Martyrology of Menardus. 
Authorities: — Bede in his Eccl. Hist., lib. v., c. 2; and John of Tyne- 

S. John of Beverley, having resigned the bishopric of 
York, retired in his old age to the monastery of Deirwood, 
-afterwards called Beverley, where his faithful friend Brit- 
win was abbot. On the death of S. John he was buried 
by the abbot in the porch, and Britwin, or Bertwin, as he 
is sometimes called, after having served God faithfully 
and ruled his abbey prudently, was buried in the same 


214 Lives of the Saints. [May is. 

May 16, 

S* Perborike* <tf jiuxerre, ^rd cent. 

S. Carnech, Ab. B, in Ireland circ. a d. ^3% 

S* Carantog, Ab. infVales, 6th cent, 

S. FiDOLUS, Ab. at Troyes in France^ circ. a.d. ^40. . 

S. Germerius, B. of Toulouse, circ, a.d. 560. 

S. Brendan, Ab. of Clonfert, a.d. 5^7. 

S. DoMNoLius, B. ef Le Mans, a.d. 581. 

S. Honoratus, B. of Amiens, circ. a.d. 600. 

SS* Raonobert B- C, and Zeno, D, C. at Bayeux, fjth cent, 

S. Ubaldus, B. of Gubbio in Italy a.d. 1160. 

S. Simon Stock, Prior in England and at Bordeaux, a.d. zaS^. 

S. John Nepomucen, Prague, a.d. 1393. 

B. Andrew Bobola, S, J , M, in Poland, a.d. 16^7. 


(about A.D. 530.) 

f Irish Martyrologies on March 28th. He is by some supposed to be the 
same as S. Carantog, who is said in his life to have gone to Ireland, and 
to have been there called Camoch or Camech ; and the Irish historians 
are referred to as authorities for his deeds. It is, however, probable that 
Carantog and Carnech are distinct personages, and that the English 
hagiographers have confounded the two. Little, however, is known of S. 
Carnech, and no detailed account of his acts remains.] 

[AINT CARNECH was of the princely house 
of Orgiel, and maternal grandson of Loarn, the 
first chief of the Irish or Scottish settlers in 
North Britain. As his mother was sister to 
Erka, he was therefore first cousin to the then king of 
Ireland, Murchertach. He was abbot and bishop, some- 
where to the west of Lough-foyle, and not far from Lifford. 
Little more is known of him, yet his memory has been 
held in high veneration ; and two brothers of his, Ronan 
and Brecan, are likewise reckoned among the Irish Saints. 

Mayi6.] S, Cai^autog, 215 

(6th cent.) 

[Wytford in his Anglican Martyrology ; and the BoUandists. Anciently 
venerated in Cardiganshire, where, at Llangrannog, a fair is annually held 
on May 27th, which according to the Old Style is the feast of the saint. 
Authorities :— John of Tynemouth, and a life in the British Museum, 
Cottonian MSS., Vesp, A. xiv.J 

Carantog, in Latin Carantocus, son of Corun ab 
Ceredig, prince of Cardigan and brother of S. Tyssul, was 
the founder of the church of Llangrannog in Cardiganshire. 
He is said early to have embraced the religious life, and to 
have passed into Ireland, where he preached the Gospel 
with great success, being constantly attended by a white 
dove, which the people supposed to be a guardian angel. 
He returned to Wales and retired into a cave, accompanied 
by many disciples. Now the dove fluttered before him 
and darted away, and came back, as though desiring him 
to follow.' So he said, "I will go and see whither the 
white bird leads." And it led him through the forest to a 
smooth grassy spot, and rested there. Then he said, 
" Here will I build a church." And this is the origin of 
the church of Llangrannog. 

Next follows a wondrous story of how a great serpent 
scared and devastated the Carr, a marshy district in Wales. 
Now it fell out that Christ cast an altar of a marvellous 
colour out of heaven, and Carantog took it; and as he 
was conveying it in a boat over the Severn, it fell over- 
board into the sea; and the hermit said, **God will wash 
it with His waves to the place where it shall be set up." 
And he went to King Arthur, and asked him if he knew 
whether his altar had come ashore anywhere. Then 
Arthur said, " Bind me the serpent in the Carr and I will 
tell thee." 

Then the hermit went to the morass and called the 

2i6 Lives of the Saints. [May 16. 

venomous beast, and it came, and he cast his stole about 
it, and brought it into the hall where the king and his 
knights sat, and there Carantog fed it. And after that he 
let the serpent go, having first commanded it to do no 
injury to man or beast. So Arthur gave him up the altar, 
which had been washed ashore, and which he had purposed 
to make into a table for himself and his knights. And 
Carantog set it up and built a church, and it is at the 
place called Carrow (Cardigan). Afterwards he went back 
to Ireland, and there he died. 

(a.d. 549.) 

[Roman and Galilean Martyrologies. In French he is called S, Phal, 
or 5. Fale, Authorities : — The Acts of S. Aventine of Troyes, Feb. 4th ; 
and his life written some time after his death.] 

S. FiDOLUs was a youth of noble birth, reduced to 
slavery by Thierry, son of Clovis, king of the Franks. As 
he was being led chained with other slaves past the abbey 
gates of Celle, S. Aventine saw and pitied him, and bought 
him. He placed the young man in the cloister, and 
educated him as his son. Fidolus became a model of 
monastic virtues, and was elected abbot on the death of ^ 
S. Aventine. He died in 549. Since 1791, the relics of 
S, Phal have rested in the church of S. Andd-lbs-Troyes. 
The parish church of S. Phal also possesses some portions. 

Mayi6.] S. Brendan. 21 j 


(a.d. 577.) 

[Irish Martyrologies. Authorities :—A life written by Augustine Mac 
Gradin, in 1405. Also an account of his voyage in the life of S. Malo, 
written by Sigebert of Gembloux, about the year iioo, from Breton 
traditions. The legend of the Voyage of S. Brendan was very popular 
in the Middle Ages. A Latin account in prose of the nth cent., and a 
French prose, one of the 12th, have been published by M. Jubinal, •' La 
L^gende Latine de S, Brandaines." Two old English versions have been 
-edited by Mr. Thomas Wright for the Percy Society, vol. xiv. One is in 
verse, and of the earlier part of the 14th cent., the other is in prose, and 
-was printed by Wynkyn de Worde, in his edition of the "Golden 
Legend," 1527, Also '* VitaS. Brendani, ex MSS. Cott. Vesp. A. xix." 
Eccl. Bees., Llandovery, 1853.] 

The accounts we have of this great man are extremely 
confused. In the first place, opinions differ as to the place 
of his birth. Some writers make him a native of Con- 
naught; but this is a mistake founded on his having 
erected a monastery at Clonfert, in which he spent the 
latter part of his life, and whence he got his name, Brendan 
of Clonfert, in contradistinction to another Brendan, less 
famous, who is called Brendan of Birr. 

According to the most ancient and trustworthy authori- 
ties he was bom in Kerry. His father was Finlog, of the 
distinguished family of Hua Alta. Brendan came into the 
world in the year 484, and is said to have received the first 
rudiments of his educution under a bishop Ercus, who was, 
perhaps, the celebrated bishop of Slane, and who, being of 
a Munster family, might have been connected with that of 
Brendan. How long Brendan remained under his care, it 
is impossible to discover. Next we are told that, when a 
young man, he studied theology under S. Jarlath of Tuam, 
who was then old and infirm. This statement cannot be 
reconciled with what is known concerning the times in 
which Jarlath flourished, and nothing more can be allowed 

2i8 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi6. 

than that these two saints, being contemporaries, used to 
confer with each other on religious subjects, or that 
Brendan, although about the same age as Jarlath, had 
perhaps attended his lectures for some time. 

In somewhat like manner must be understood what is 
said of Brendan's having been at the school of Clonard ; 
whereas it is very probable that he was not younger than 
S. Finnian, who taught there. To atone for the death of a 
person who had been drowned at sea, and to which 
Brendan feared that he had involuntarily contributed, he is 
said to have gone to Brittany, by the advice of S. Itta. 
Having visited Gildas, who was then living there, and was 
advanced in years, he went to another part of Brittany, 
and formed a monastery or school at Aleth, on the main- 
land, near the modern S. Malo.^ 

If there be any foundation of truth, as there probably is, 
in the marvellous story of the voyage of S. Brendan, it 
must have taken place after his arrival in Brittany, though, 
according to Irish accounts it was undertaken from a 
port in Kerry, and had terminated before he set out for 
Brittany. Although the narrative of his voyages abounds 
in fables, yet it may be admitted that Brendan sailed, in 
company with some other monks, towards the West, in 
search of some island or country that lay beyond where the 
sun went down into the sea. We have independent 
testimony to the fact that the Irish monks were great 
voyagers and explorers. The ancient chroniclers of 
Iceland relate that when that island was first colonized by 
the Norse, in 870, on it were found Irish hermits.^ We 
have also extant the work of the Irish monk Dicuil, written 

* Sec Life of S. John of the Grate. (Vol. II., February, p. a6.) 

* Islendinga Bok, c. x. ''Anciently there lived here Christian folk whom the 
Norsemen called ?apar ; they afterwards went away, as they could not endure the 
society of heathens, and they left behind them Irish books, bells and pastoral 
stares; so that one could ascertain therefrom that they were Irish." Landnama* 


Mayi6.] S. Brendau. 219 

in 825,^ in which he gives an account of a voyage of some 
Irish monks in 795 to the Faroe isles. It is also certain 
that the Icelanders first heard of the existence of America 
in Ireland, and Icelandic historians relate that in a portion 
of America, which they describe as far West over the ocean 
from Ireland, and which they called Greater Ireland, was a 
district colonized by Irish, where Christianity had been 
introduced and established.* And we have accounts of 
visits of Icelanders to this district, where, they say an Irish 
dialect was then spoken.^ 

Adamnan, in his life of S. Columba, tells of more than 
one such voyage, and of the wondrous things that occurred 
in them. Even as late as the year 891, says the Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle : . " Three Scots (Irish) came to king 
Alfred, in a boat without oars, from Ireland, whence they 
had stolen away, because for the love of God' they desired 
to be on pilgrimage, they recked not whither. The boat 
in which they came was made of two hides and a half; and 
they took with them provisions for seven days ; and about 
the seventh day they came on shore in Cornwall, and soon 
afler went to king Alfred." 

" Out of such wild feats as these," says Mr. Kingsley ;* 
"out of dim reports of fairy islands in the West; of the 
Canaries and Azores ; of icebergs and floes sailing in the 
far northern sea, upon the edge of the six-months' night ; 

bok. *• But before Iceland was peopled by the Norsemen, there were folk here who 
were Called by th- Norsemen Papar; they were Christians, and it is thought that 
they came from the West over the sea, for they left behind them Irish books, bells 
and staves, and many other articles from which one might conjecture they were 
West-men ( rist.)*'* Thordicus the monk, **De regibus vet. Norwegicis c. 3 (in 
Langebck, V.) says much the same. 

» Dicuili Liber de mensura orbis terrse, cd. Waickenaer, Paris, XS07. 

* Landnama, II. c. 32. 

Eyrbyggja Saga, c.64 ; Thorfinns S. Karlsefnis, c. 1$ ; also a r^^ssage from an 
ancient MS* quoted in the Antiquitates Americanae, p. 2x4,5. 

♦ «* The Hermits," Macmtllan, p. 257. 

220 Lives of the Saints. [Mayis. 

out of Edda stories of the Midgard snake, which is coiled 
round the world ; out of scraps of Greek and Arab myth, 
from the Odyssey or the Arabian Nights, brought home by 
vikings who ha^d been for pilgrimage and plunder up the 
Straits of Gibraltar into the far East; — out of all these 
materials were made up, as years rolled on, the famous 
legend of S. Brendan and his seven years' voyage in search 
of the * land promised to the saints.' 

" This tale was so popular in the Middle Ages, that it 
appears, in different shapes, in almost every early l^uropean 
language. It was not only the delight of monks, but it 
stirred up to wild voyages many a secular man in search of 
S. Brendan's Isle, * which is not found when it is sought,' 
but was said to be visible at times, from Falma in the 
Canaries. The myth must have been well-known to 
Columbus, and may have helped to send him forth ia 
search of Cathay. 

" The tale, from whatever dim reports of fact it may have 
sprung, is truly (as M. Jubinal calls it) a monkish Odyssey, 
and nothing more. It is a dream of the hermit's cell. No 
woman, no city, nor nation, is ever seen during the seven 
years' voyage. Ideal monasteries and ideal hermits people 
the * deserts of the ocean.' All beings therein (save 
daemons and Cyclops) are Christians, even to the very 
birds, and keep the festivals of the Church as eternal laws 
of nature. The voyage succeeds, not by seamanship, or 
geographic knowledge, nor even by chance : but by the 
miraculous prescience of the saint, or of those whom he 
meets ; and the wanderings of Ulysses, or of Sinbad, are 
rational and human in comparison with those of S. 

** Yet there are in them, as was to be expected, elements 
in which the Greek and the Arab legends are altogether 
deficient j perfect innocence, patience, and justice ; utter 

Mayi6.j S. Brendati. 221 

faith in a God who prospers the innocent and punishes the 
guilty ; ennobling obedience to the saint, who stands out a 
truly heroic figure above his trembling crew; and even 
more valuable still, the belief in, the craving for, an ideal, 
even though the ideal be that of a mere earthly Paradise ; 
the * divine discontent,' as it has been well called, which 
is the root of all true progress ; which leaves (thank God) 
no man at peace save him who has said, ' Let us eat and 
drink, for to-morrow we die.' " 

The story of the sailing of S. Brendan is as follows : — We 
shall not follow the adventures of the expedition, which are 
fabulous, but narrate only the starting, which may be true. 

There came to Brendan one evening a hermit named 
Barintus, of the royal race of Neill; and when he was 
questioned, he did nought but cast himself on the ground, 
and weep and pray. And when S. Brendan asked him to 
make better cheer for him and his monks, he told him a 
strange tale, — ^how a nephew of his had fled away to be a 
solitary, and had found a delicious island, and established a 
monastery therein; and how he himself had gone to see his 
nephew, and sailed with him to the eastward to an island, 
which was called " the Land of promise of the Saints," wide 
and grassy, and bearing all manner of fruits ; wherein was 
no night, for the Lordjesus Christ was the light thereof; 
iand how they abode there for a long while without eating 
and drinking; and when they returned to his nephew's 
monastery, the brethren knew well where they had been, 
for the fragrance of Paradise lingered on their garments 
for nearly forty days. 

So Barintus told his story, and went back to his cell. 
But S. Brendan called together his most loving fellow- 
warriors, as he called them, and told them how he had set 
his heart on seeking that Promised Land. And he went 
up to the top of the hill in Kerry, which is still called 

222 Lives of the Saints. [Mayia. 

Mount Brendan, with fourteen chosen monks ; and there, 
at the utmost corner of the world, he built him a coracle 
of wattle, and covered it with hides tanned in oak-bark 
and softened with butter, and set up in it a mast and a 
sail, and took forty days' provision, and commanded his 
monks to enter the boat, in the name of the Holy Trinity* 
And as he stood alone, praying on the shore, three more 
monks from his monastery came up, and fell at his feet, 
and begged to go too, or they would die in that place of 
hunger and thirst; for they were determined to wander 
with him all the days of their life. So he gave them leave. 
Then he sailed, and was away for seven years, and saw 
great marvels, icebergs floating on the sea, a burning 
mountain, and things that are not and never were. And 
at the end of seven years he returned and founded in 
Galway the great monastery of Clonfert. 

For this monastery and several others connected with it, 
he drew up a rule, which was so highly esteemed that it 
was supposed to have been dictated by an angeL He is 
said to have presided over three thousand monks, partly at 
Clonfert, and partly in other houses of his founding in 
various parts of Ireland, all of whom maintained them- 
selves by the labour of their hands. He established a 
nunnery at Enach-duin, over which he placed his sister 
Briga. He is said also to have erected a cell in an island 
in Lough Corrib, called Inisquin. According to some 
writers S. Brendan was a bishop, and was the first bishop 
of Clonfert; but it is more probable that he was only 

At a late period of his life he paid a visit to the isle 
of lona, the monastic metropolis of Western Scotland. 
There is reason to think that, prior to his death, the saint 
retired from Clonfert, to the lonely retreat of Inisquin. 
He died in his sister's convent, which was near Lough 

Mayi6.] S. Ubald. 223 

— — : % — 

Corrib, on May i6th, 577, in the ninety-fourth year of 
his age. From that place his remains were conveyed to 
Clonfert, and were there buried. 

(a.d. n6o.) 

[Canonised by Pope Celestine III. in 1192.. Roman Martyrology. 
Ferrarius and other Italian hagiographers. Authority : — A life written by 
his successor in the see of Gubbio, Isbald, in 1162, for it was sent to the 
Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, whilst besieging Milan.] 

S. Ubald was bom of noble parents at Gubbio, in the 
Papal States. He was appointed prior of the cathedral 
chapter by the bishop, who was his uncle, as soon as he 
had reached the age of manhood. The condition of the 
chapter was scandalous above measure^ The bells were 
regularly rung for service, but not a canon appeared. The 
jcanons lived in their private apartments in the utmost 
luxury, and not one of them was unmarried. The cloister 
agates were open day and night, for any one who liked to 
•come in or go out of the canons' residences. 

Ubald was resolved on effecting a reform. His attempt 
:to enforce decency and order aroused violent opposition. 
However, he found three of the canons weary of the 
disorders in which they lived, and ready to support him in 
his plan of reformation. He at once began to live with 
them in strict discipline, but finding it necessary to gain 
some practical experience of the manner of conducting a 
religious house, he resolved to visit the Canons Regular 
instituted by Peter de Honestis in the territory of Ravenna. 
A terrible fire, which consumed a, large portion of Gubbio, 
and reduced the canons' house and cloister to ruins, gave 
.him an opportunity of leaving the cathedral After three 

224 Lives of the Saints. [Mayxs. 

months spent with the Regular Canons, he returned to 
Gubbio, and succeeded in time, by gentleness and firm- 
nesSy in reducing his canons to order. 

The bishop of Gubbio dying in 1128, Ubald was 
unanimously elected to fill his place, and he was conse- 
crated the following year by Pope Honorius II. 

A pretty story is told of him whilst bishop, which speaks 
more for his character than pages of panegyric. The walls 
of Gubbio were being repaired, and the masons had 
invaded the bishop's vineyard tor the purpose; he found 
that in their carelessness they were seriously damaging his 
vines. He therefore went to the master mason and 
remonstrated with him. The fellow, a passionate and in- 
considerate man, perhaps not knowing who was the com- 
plainer, swore at him and thrust him out with so much 
violence, that the bishop who had broken his thigh 
formerly, and now limped, fell into the liquid mortar that 
the masons had prepared. Ubaldus rose, and concealing 
the mortar that adhered to his clothes as well as he was 
able under his reversed cloak, hastened back to the palace 
without a word. But the people of Gubbio heard of the 
outrage, and broke forth into indignation. The master 
mason was seized and dragged before the magistrates by 
an incensed crowd, clamouring for punishment, by banish- 
ment and confiscation of goods. But suddenly the bishop 
appeared in the hall of justice. " This is an ecclesiastical 
offence, an injury done to a clerk, and it therefore must 
not be tried in a secular, but in an ecclesiastical court.'* 
And going up to the mason he said, " I am thine accuser, 
and thy judge. I denounce thee, I try thee, and I 
condemn thee — kiss me." Then he embraced him and 
said, "My son, go in peace." 

A party feud having broken out in the city one day, and 
the combatants having come to blows, the bishop limped 

Mayi6.] ^S. Ubald. 225 

into the maxket-place to separate them ; stones were flying 
and swords were drawn. Being unable to make himself 
heard and regarded, Ubald suddenly staggered as though 
struck by a paving stone, and fell on his face. The 
combat ceased at once ; the citizens of both parties loved 
their bishop, and those who had been foes a minute before 
united to raise the prostrate saint. Then Ubald rose and 
said, " My friends, I am not struck with a stone, but my 
heart is pierced with grief at your animosities. Separate 
and keep peace." And now that he had obtained a hearing, 
he made good use of the opportunity to appease the 

S. Ubald was an infirm man; he. had twice broken his 
thigh and once his right arm, and the fractures not having 
been perfectly set, he suffered from abscesses and the 
coming away of pieces of bone. In his last illness, the 
people of Gubbio were heart-broken because Easter 
approached, and he would not appear to commimicate 
them with his beloved hand. Hearing of their sorrow, the 
bishop made an effort, and on Easter Day celebrated 
the holy mass, preached to the people, gave them his 
pastoral benediction, and went back to bed, never to rise 
from it again. On the vigil and feast of Pentecost, the 
bishop allowed the people to visit him for the last time. 
All Gubbio was there, women and men and children poured 
into his sick-room in a long train, to kiss his hand and 
receive his blessing; then all entered the church bearing 
tapers to pray for him during his passage into eternity. 
He died the same night murmuring psalms. 

His body is preserved in the church of the regular 
canons on Monte Ubaldo, near Gubbio. 


226 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi« 

(a.d. 1265.) 

[Martyrology of the Carmelites. Pope Nicolas III. granted an office to 
be celebrated in his honour at Bordeaux on the loth May, and this Paul V. 
extended to the whole Order of Mount Carmel. Authorities: — A life 
written not long after his death, Stevens, Monast. Anglican. II. p.s 159, &cj 

This saint was born of a good family in Kent. His 
desire for a solitary and religious life was early formed. 
At twelve years of age he withdrew from the world into a 
forest^ and took up his abode in the hollow trunk of a 
venerable oak, from which he was popularly nicknamed 
Simon of the Stock, or Simon Stock. Thus he spent sixty 
years, till Ralph Frebum and Ivo, two hermits of Mount 
Carmel, came to England in 1 240 ; and were given houses 
by John, Lord Vesey and Richard, Lord Grey, in the forest 
of Holme, near Alnwick, in Northumberland, and in the 
wood of Aylesford in Kent. Many joined the new com- 
munity, amongst others, Simon Stock, and at the next 
chapter held at Aylesford, in 1245, ^® was elected General 
of the Order. He is said, in a vision, to have seen the 
Blessed Virgin, who gave him the scapular, promising that 
whoever wore it should not bum eternally. This proved 
a great attraction to the new Order, and many people 
applied for scapulars. In 1266, Simon went to Bordeaux 
to visit a house of the order, and there died. He was 
buried in the cathedral of Bordeaux, where his relics are 
still preserved. 



May 16.1 S. J okft of NepOfKuk. 227 

(A.D. 1393.) 

[Canonized in 1729. Roman Martyrology. Authorities quoted in the 

This saint is especially venerated as the martyr of the 

He was the son of Wayland Wolflein of Pomuk, or 
NepomuV a village in Bohemia, was born in the year 
1330, and was a sickly child, whose life was despaired of, 
t)ut the prayers of his mother prevailed, and he grew to 
maturity. The piety of the child drew attention to him, 
and he was sent to study Latin at Staab, that he might 
follow the bent of his vocation, and enter holy orders. In 
the year 1378 he was appointed first notary to the arch- 
bishop, as is proved by a deed executed under his hand, 
now extant The last time his signature occurs in this 
capacity is in 1380. In 1381 he was made incumbent of 
the church of S. Gall at Prague, and in the same year took 
his degree as licentiate of canon law.^ His sermons are 
said to have produced a great effect Everyone crowded 
to hear him, with the rest came the students of the uni- 
versity, and many whose lives had been irregular were 
melted by his appeals, and renounced their dissolute lives, 
to tread in future in the ways of sobriety and righteousness. 
His influence determined the archbishop to advance him 
to higher honours. In 1387, he was made canon of 
S. ^J^gidius in Old Prague, and the same year he took the 
degree of doctor of canon law. Itseems probable, how- 
ever, that before receiving this canonry, he was advanced 
temporally to the deanery of Prague, in 1382, for we find 

' In the Lihri Erectionum, or Registers of Foundations, &c., belonging to the see 
of Prague, S.John signs himself in T372, as "John, son of Wayland Wolflw-in of 
Pomulc," as also in two other documents bearing the dates 1374 and 1378' 

* This is proved by the lists of candidates preserved in the university arciiives. 

228 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi6w 

"John the Licentiate" appointed in 1382, the year after 
he had passed as licentiate; but this office he held only 
provisionally, for in 1383 he vacated it, and was recom- 
pensed with the canonry, and the ofifer of the bishopric of 
Leitomischl, which became vacant in 1387, by the ele- 
vation of John III. to the bishopric of Olmutz, and the 
patriarchate of Aquileia. 

In 1389 he was made canon of Wischehrad, in Prague^ 
and in the same year was appointed vicar-general of the 
arch-diocese. As such his signature recurs over and over 
again in the diocesan registers. His colleague in the 
administration of the afifairs of the see was Nicolas Puch- 
nik, afterwards archbishop. 

In 1390, he resigned the cure of S. Gallus to be invested 
with the archdeaconry of Saatz, which was vacated for him 
by one Leonhardt, who received in exchange the incum- 
bency of S. Gallus, and thus John of Nepomuk became a 
member of the cathedral chapter. 

Wenceslas IV., king of Bohemia and emperor,^ suc- 
ceeded his father, the Emperor Charles IV., in 1378, at the 
age of sixteen. Wenceslas had been brought up in pomp 
and luxury, at an early age initiated into the afifairs of the 
empire, and, during his father's life-time, declared his 
successor to the imperial throne by the bribed electors. 
Wenceslas, called at too early an age to participate in the 
government of the empire, treated affairs of state with 
ridicule, or entirely neglected them, to devote himself ta 
idleness and drunkenness. At one moment he jested, at 
another burst into the most brutal fits of rage. The 
Germans, with whom he never interfered, beyond occasion- 
ally holding a useless diet at Niirenberg, deemed him a 
fool, whilst the Bohemians, who, on account of his resi- 
dence at Prague, were continually exposed to his savage 

1 He was crowned eniperor at Aix-la-Chapelle. 

wayi6.] S. yohn of Nepomuk. 229 

caprices, regarded him as a ferocious tyrant. The posses- 
sions with which the Bohemian nobility had formerly been 
invested by the crown exciting his cupidity, he invited the 
whole of the aristocracy to meet him at WiJiamow, where 
he received them under a black tent that opened into two 
other tents, or wings, one white, tlje o^her red. The 
nobles were summoned into the imperial presence one by 
one, and were forced to declare that they received their 
land as fiefs of the crown. Those who voluntarily sub- 
mitted were feasted in the white tent, those who refused 
were executed in the red tent The massacre of three 
thousand Jews in Prague, on account of one of that nation 
having ridiculed the Holy Sacrament, gave Wenceslas the 
idea of declaring all debts owed by Christians to Jews to 
be null and void. He married Joanna, daughter of Albert 
of Bavaria. She died a shocking death in 1387. King 
Wenceslas had many large hunting-dogs, purchased for 
him in all countries ; of these the two largest and greatest 
favourites shared his bed room; and it is related that 
Queen Joanna was throttled by one of them, as she 
chanced to raise herself in bed, on the night of December 
31st, 1386. 

Wenceslas married again in 1389, his second wife being 
Sophia of Bavaria. He behaved to her with great brutality, 
publicly exhibiting his preference for his mistress, Susanna, 
the Bathwoman. 

The unfortunate Joanna chose John of Nepomuk as her 
confessor, and after her death he became the confessor of 
Sophia. This queen was very beautiful,^ and the king 
became suspicious of her fidelity to him. He is said to 
have endeavoured to induce John of Nepomuk to break 
the seal of confession, and tell him what she had confided 

> *'MaIier forma inslgni ac corpore valde eleganti." Cnspinianus, p. 390. 
''Commendant ejos formam et venusUCem oris plariml scriptores.'* Balbinus, 
ib. iv.j c. z. 

23Q Lives of the Saints. [Mayis* 

to his ear. The saint steadfastly refused. He incurred 
the king's anger in another way. It happened one day 
that a fowl was sent to his table insufficiently roasted. In 
a fury, he ordered the cook to be spitted and roasted alive 
at the same fire at which the fowl had been dressed. The 
poor servant was already placed before the fire, and the 
officers were preparing to execute the barbarous sentence,, 
when S. John heard of it, and rushed into the dining-hall,. 
flung himself before the king, and implored him to spare 
the unfortunate wretch. Wenceslas spumed him away^ 
and ordered him to be cast into a dungeon. Whilst he 
lay in chains, the king again attempted to extort from him 
the secret of his wife's confession, but S. John remained 
inflexible. Wencenlas then ordered his release, and at* 
tempted to gain his object by favour and flattery. About 
the same time, a quarrel broke out between the archbishop 
and the king. Wenceslas was contemplating the erection 
of a new episcopal see in the south-west of his kingdom for 
the benefit of a creature of his own, and he was waiting for 
the death of the old abbot of Klattau, to confiscate the 
revenues of the abbey for the establishment of the bishopric^ 
But the abbot was scarcely dead, when the monks pro- 
ceeded to the election of a successor, and the archbishop 
confirmed their choice by his two vicars-general, so rapidly, 
and contrary to the express orders of the king, that the 
latter received intelligence of both events at one and the 
same time. Another cause of offence was the excom- 
munication of the royal chamberlain for having executed 
two priests convicted of a dreadful crime. This the arch- 
bishop regarded as an encroachment on the prerogative of 
the Church, and resented it accordingly. An attempt at 
reconciliation was made by the king's councillors, and on 
Mardi 20th, 1393, a meeting between the king and the 
archbishop was arranged at Prague. But Wenceslas sent the 

May i5.] 61 J oku of NepOMUk. 23 I 

prelate, John of Genzenstein, an insulting letter, written in 
German: — "You archbishop, give me up my castle of 
Rudnicz, and my other castles, and be off out of my lands 
of Bohemia; and if you do anything against me or my 
men, I will drown you, and so make an end of the strife." 

But the king himself burst into the chapter-house where 
the archbishop and the chapter were assembled, maltreated 
the old dean, by striking him over the head with his sword- 
handle, and having bound the two vicars-general, the provost 
of Meissen, and the marshal Niepro, carried them off to 
the castle. During the evening he tortured them on the 
rack, or at least one of them, John of Nepomuk, stretching 
him out on the rack, and applying lighted torches to his 
sides with his own hands. The others were allowed to 
depart with a reprimand, but John of Nepomuk was taken 
down half dead, a piece of wood was placed in his mouth 
to prevent him from speaking, and he was, by the king's 
orders, taken to the bridge over the Moldau and cast into 
the river, with his hands tied behind his back.^ This took 
place at nine o'clock in the evening of March 30th, 1393. 

That night lights appeared on the water, above where 
the saint had been cast in, and towards morning the body 
floated ashore, the lights twinkling on the water above it, 
till it was cast up on the bank. It was then taken to the 
church of the Holy Cross, and a few days afterwards was 
buried in the cathedral. 

The last deed bearing the signature of John of Nepomuk 
in the Registers of Foundations, bears date March 3rd, 

lAlban Butler, following Balbinus, tells the story differently. His account is 
certainly erroneous, as it cannot be reconciled with 'he facts as stated above, 
which are derived from the statement drawn up by the archbishop and sent to 
the pope in his appeal against Wenceslas next year. Balbinus says that after 
racking and torture, S. John went a pilgrimage to the miraculous image of S. 
Mary at Buntzel, and that Wenceslas saw him on his return, as he was looking 
out of a window in his palace, and ordered him to immediate execution. S John 
may have made the pilgrimage after the first imprisonment, or shortly before thia 
second one, 

232 Lives of the Saints. [May 16. 

1393 ; the last in the Register of Confirmations of the See 
is March 14th, 1393, six days before his death. 

In the list of memorial masses, belonging to the 
cathedral, is the following entry; — *'In the year 1396, 
Janeczko gives a charge of seven groschen per annum to 
be levied on his house at Aujezd, to be paid to Nicolas 
Puchnik (the coadjutor of S. John) for a yearly memorial 
of the dean and archdeacon of Saatz, John of Pomuk, who 
was drowned in 1393." 

The contemporary chronicler Hagen, in his addition to 
the " Chronica des Landes Oesterreich," says : — " King 
Wenceslas, in the year 1393, in May, shockingly drowned 
a venerable priest and professor of canon law, named 
Master John." 

Andrew of Ratisbon, who was also a contemporary (he 
wrote in 1422), gives the same account under the same 
date. The chronicler who continued Pulkawa to 1450, 
says under the date 1393, "In this year John, the honour- 
able doctor and vicar-general of the archbishop was 
drowned." An anonymous Chronicle of Prague; ending 
141 9, and therefore by a contemporary, places the drowning 
of John of Nepomuk between 1389 and 1394, without 
giving the exact date; but the Chronicon Palatinum, 
written in 1438, says, "In the year 1393, Doctor John 
was drowned." The Chronicon Bohemie or Lipsense, 
also by a contemporary, written in 141 1, says, ''In the 
year 1393, on the day of S. Benedict, John of Nepomuk 
was drowned."^ 

1 It is cnrious that one of the charges brought against Huss at the Council of 
Constance had reference to the murder of John of Nepomuk. "Item, Ponitur 
quod in domo Wcnceslai Piscaritoriff post prandium immediate, coram magistro 
quodam et presbytero et aliquibos laicis, dicere non erubuit atque dixit qoando 
facta fait mentio de submersione D. Joannis piae memoriae et Puchniaclc et decani 
Pragensis detentions quod interdictum poni debuisset, praedictus M. Joann Huss 
scandalose dixit \ — Magnum quid quod illi propones de tinetur I L>icatis rationem, 
quare a laude Dei cessare deberet." Fit, tt Documinta, p. 165. 

Mayis.i S. yohn of Nepomuk. 233 

Immediately after this outrage, the bishop, John of 
Genzenstein, escaped from Bohemia, where he deemed his 
life was endangered, and in the same year appealed 
formally to the pope against the king, and in that appeal 
he complained of the toriiures and murder of his vicar- 
general, John of Nepomuk.^ He afterwards resigned his 
see, and was not long after succeeded by Nicholas von 
Puchnik,^ the coadjutor of the saint, a man who speedily 
made himself odious in Bohemia for his avarice. 

There can be no manner of doubt therefore, that John 
of Nepomuk was drowned by order of the king in 1393. 
But the bull of canonization of S. John places his death in 
1383, mislead by Balbinus, who wrote his "Bohemia 
Sancta" in 1670. Balbinus gave 1383 instead of 1393, 
as the date of the martyrdom of the saint, and made him 
the confessor of Joanna only, and not of Sophia. Balbinus 
was misled by Hajec d Liboczan, who wrote the Annals 
of Bohemia in 1540. Hajec died in 1553. He was not 
an accurate historian, and he was probably misled by ^ 
John having resigned the deanery of Prague in 1383, if the 
supposition be admitted that " John the Licentiate," who 
occupied the deanery for a twelvemonth, was the same as 
John .of Nepomuk, who was licentiate in that year, and 
who may have been put in as a stop-gap. Or Hajec may 
not have liked to represent the saintly John as the prede. 
cessor of John Huss the heretic in the direction of the 
conscience of Queen Sophia, and therefore may have 
antedated his martyrdom to free him from all suspicion of 
having sowed the seeds of error in the queen's mind. Or 
what is more probable still, the mistake of ten years was a 
mere piece of carelessness. 

'Acta in curia Romana Johan. a Gen^senstein ; inPelzel'fi Ceschichte Wenzels, 

p. 14S. 164. 

* He resigned in 139$, and was immediately succeeded by Wolfram nm Skworekt 
bat Wolfram died in 1403 ; and was succeeded by Nicolas Puctinik. 

234 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi6. 

The error was pointed out by the Jesuit Andreas 
Freiberger, in 1680, but his correction was overlooked at 
the canonization of S. John. 

Another objection has been raised against the received 
story of the martyrdom of S. John. In all the contem- 
porary notices of the murder, there is no mention of the 
execution having taken place because he refused to divulge 
the queen's confession, but only because he had acted 
against the king's wishes in the matter of the abbey of 
Kladrau. It is, therefore, asserted that the story of his 
being a mart3rr because he refused to break the seal of 
confession is fabulous. But it may be remarked that the 
king could not have proceeded against the priest for his 
refusal to divulge the secrets of the confessional, without 
raising such a storm against him as would have driven him 
from his throne, and the matter of the abbey was just such 
an one as he could allege as an excuse for his barbarous 
treatment of the vicar-general. That the matter of Kladrau , 
was only an ostensible reason for the murder appears from 
the fact of the king letting the real oflfender, the archbishop, 
depart unmolested, and also from his having dismissed 
Nicolas Puchnik, the other vicar-general, and the provost of 
Meissen. On John alone did he vent his fiendish rage, and 
repay what must have been a personal grudge, by torturing 
him with his own hands, till the priest was almost dead. 

That there ^as some covert reason for this murder 
hidden under the reason openly alleged, is rendered also 
very probable from the following testimonies. The Prague 
Chronicle says that Wenceslas killed the canon '^ because 
John had remonstrated with the king for his crimes," and 
Andrew of Ratisbon, in 1422, and therefore a contem- 
porary^ says that one reason of the drowning of John was 
that he had rebuked the king for his misgovernment, as 
rendering him unworthy of his crown. 

Mayisj S. John of Ncpomuk. 535 

But there is other evidence. Thomas Ebendorfer of 
Haselbach (d. 1460), who wrote the "Chronicon Austri- 
acum," and the Acts of the Council of Basle, the first session 
of which was in 143 1, says in his <* Liber Augustalis " that 
John of Nepomuk — " Confessor to the wife of Wenceslas — 
was drowned in the Moldau, as it is reported, because he re- 
fused to break the seal of confession." Paul Zidek, dean of 
All Saints, at Prague (in 1470), says that " the king having a 
bad opinion of his wife . . . came to John of Nepomuk, and 
asked him to tell him with whom she had held forbidden re- 
lations . . . and as John would not tell him, the king 
drowned him." 

A passage was extracted by Berghauer, "Protomartyr 
Poenitentise," 1736, from the Zittau Chronicle, tells the 
same tale, but gives the wrong date. But this passage is 
suspicious. The Zittau Chronicle does not now exist. 
The style in which the event is related precludes the 
possibility of its having been written by a contemporary.^ 

At any rate Ebendorfer shows that some thirty or forty 
years after the death of John of Nepomuk the belief 
existed that he had died because he would not break the 
seal of confession, and this opinion could hardly have 
arisen without some good cause. And this, moreover, has 
been the constant tradition in Bohemia. It has been 
objected that the bishop in his appeal to the pope referred 
only to the reason for the murder alleged by the king, and 
that, therefore, there was no ultericnr reason. But this is 
not self-evident The object of the archbishop was to show 
that the plea put forward by the king to justify his act did 
not do so ; and the archbishop could not in a formal appeal 
make the accusation that the king suspected his wife's 
fidelity, and had endeavoured to force her confessor to 


* ** In the year Z3S3 there was a king in Bohemia, who had a wire, who went to 
her confessor," &c. 

236 Lives of the Saints. [May 16. 

betray her secret confession, without causing public 


The tomb of the saint was opened in 17 19, on April 

14th, and though the rest of the body was reduced to bone 

and dust, the tongue was found to be incorrupt 

Pope Innocent XIII. confirmed the veneration in which 
the saint was regarded in Bohemia, by a decree equivalent 
to a beatification, and the bull of his solemn canonization 
was published by Benedict XIII. in 1729. The saint now 
reposes in a silver shrine in the cathedral of Prague. March 
2oth, the day on which S. John suffered, being the double 
feast of S. Benedict, the feast of S. John Nepomucen has 
been transferred to May i6th. 

In art S. John is represented with surplice and purple 
stole, his finger to his lip, a canon's fin: liripipit over his 
shoulders, and a doctor's four-homed biretta on his head. 
Seven stars, to represent the flames that were seen above 
his body, surround his head. On the bridge over the 
Moldau is a metal plate marked with the seven stars, to 
indicate the place where the body of the saint was thrown 
into the river. 


May 17. j S. ToVpeS. 237 

May 17. 

SS. Andronicus and Junia, mentioned by S, Paul, xst cent, 

S. ToRPEs, Af . at Pita, circ, a.d. 65. 

S. Restituta, F,M* in jl/rieaf yd cent, 

S. PosiDONius, B» nf Calama, in Numidia, circ, a.d. 43 2* 

S. Madern, H, in Cornwall,^ 

S. Framechild, Abss, 0/ Montreuil, ^th cent. 

S. Bruno> B, cf ffurtzburgf a.d. tiS$, 

S, Paschal BaylDn, CM, at Ftlla Reale, near Falentia, a.d. x^Qa* 


(about A.D. 65.) 

[Roman Martyrology, and all the ancient Latin ones. Authority : — 
The Apocryphal Acts, which existed before Usuardus, Hrabanus Maurus 
(9th cent), Ado, &c, Papebroeck has completely disposed of their claim 
to be written by an eye-witness. That they may preserve a tradition of 
what were the sufferings of S. Torpes is possible, but as they stand they 
are a forgery.] 

[ORPES was the name of a Christian at Pisa, in 
the reign of Nero, who was cast to wild beasts, 
but a lion would not be goaded on to slay him, 
and a leopard that was let loose upon him licked 
his feet. He was then conducted to the side of the river, 
decapitated, and his body cast ^adrift in an old boat with a 
- cock and a dog. It came ashore at " Sinus." This was no 
doubt somewhere on the curved shore between the mouth 
of the Arno and the Gulf of Spezia. Tacitus calls this the 
"Sinus Pisanus.'*^ However the term was broad enough 
to cover other places. So the Provengales claimed the 
body of S. Torpes, as having drifted into the Gulf of 
Grimaud, now called the Golfe de S. Tropez, and to have 

' Alban Butler gives on this day the Cornish hermit S, Mawe, but on what 
authority I cannot discover. 

» Lib, iii., c. 43. 

238 Lives of the Saints. cMayxj. 

come ashore at the place now called S. Tropez. But the 
Portugese have a village called Sines, and so they claim to 
have the body there, and the Evora Breviary published in 
1548, made the feast of S. Torpes a double on that 
account. This claim is, however, too absurd to receive 
credence. It seems to rest on no grounds except the 
similarity of the name Sines to Sinus, and on the forged 
chronicle of Dexter, by Higuera, in the i6th century. On 
the strength of this the clergy of Sines dug for the body 
and found it. The mistake of the Proven^ales has 
probably arisen from the church on the Gulf of Grimaud 
being dedicated to a saint Eutropius, who has been 
forgotten, and the popular corruption of the name into 
S. Tropez has led to the supposition that the dedication is 
to S. Torpes. 

In art S. Torpes is represented with a boat. 


(3RD CENT.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Venerated especially at Naples. Authority :— 
The Acts, which are not, however, in their primitive and genuine form, but 
have suffered amplifications and re-writings. Papebroeck the BoUandist, 
says, " The acts are sufficiently gravely and not inelegantly written ; but 
seem to have 'been filled in with rhetorical and lengthy discussions 
between the martyr and the judge, and with the prayers she addressed to 
God, all out of the imagination of the author, as supposed to be appro- 
priate to the time and the occasion. Would that writers had not made 
Tise of a similar liberty in amplifying the various tortures of the. saint, 
and adding other circumstances." The same may ba said of very many 
-other Acts.] 

S. Restituta was an African, and lived in the reign of 
the Emperor Valerian. A judge, named Proculus, who 
persecuted the Christians at Carthage, tried her for being a 
Christian, and ordered her to be placed in an old boat 

MayiM 61 MacUm. 259 

£lled with pitch and other combustibles, and sent adrift. 
She was accordingly bound in the boat, the pitch was 
lighted, the wind blew off shore, and the fiery boat con- 
taining the mart)^', was carried rapidly out to sea, till it 
faded like a dying spark on the horizon. The burnt boat 
and the body of the virgin martyr were thrown up on the 
island of Ischia, near Naples, where the Emperor Constan 
tine afterwards erected a magnificent church over her 

(date uncertain.) 

[Honoured on this day in Brittany. Two churches in the diocese of 
S. Malo are dedicated to him.] 

Nothing is known of S. Madern except that he occupied 
a hermitage in Cornwall at the place called after him 
Madron. About a mile north-west of Madron church, in a 
desolate moor, is S. Madern's well. About two hundred 
yards from it is S. Madern's Oratory, a ruined chapel about 
twenty-five feet long by sixteen feet broad. It contains an 
excavation which was probably used as a font, the water 
being supplied firom the well, for which purpose a channel 
was made through the wall, and a drain ran along the 
west-end of the chapel to carry oj0f the water. In the 
preface to a poem, "The petition of an old uninhabited 
house in Penzance," published in 1823, is the following 
note : — " Perhaps it may not be known, but I find it related 
in an old MS., that what appears a seat on the side of 
Maddem well was called S. Maddem's Bed, on which the 
patient who came to be cured reclined. Those who were 
benefited, left a donation at Maddern church for the 
poor. This may account for the preservation of the 

• •• • 



• •• 

• • • » 

240 Lives of the Saints. rMayi^ 

well. Donations were left so late as the middle of the 
17th century." 

The chapel was partially destroyed, in the time of 
Cromwell, by Mayor Ceely of S. Ives. 

Bishop Hall of Exeter, in his last visitation of the 
diocese of Exeter, previous to his translation, in 1641, to 
the see of Norwich, attests several miraculous cures per- 
formed by the water of the holy well of S. Madern. 

" The commerce that we have with the good spirits is 
not' now discerned by the eye, but is, like themselves, 
spiritual. Yet not so, but that even in bodily occasions 
we have many times insensible helps from them \ in such 
a manner as that by the effects we can boldly say, Here 
hath been an angel, though we see him not Of this kind 
was that (no less than miraculous) cure which at S» 
Madem's in Cornwall was wrought upon a poor cripple, 
John Trelille, whereof (besides the attestation of many 
hundreds of neighbours) I took a strict and personal 
examination in that last visitation which I either did or 
ever shall hold. This man, that for sixteen years together 
was fain to walk upon his hands, by reason of the close 
contraction of the sinews of his legs (upon three admo- 
nitions in a dream to wash in that well), was suddenly so 
restored to his limbs, that I saw him able to walk and get 
his own maintenance. I found here was neither art nor 
collusion : the thing done, the author invisible."^ Another 
writer of the same period gives a fuller account of the same 
miraculous cure.^ "I will relate one miracle more done 
in our own country, to the great wonder of the neighbour- 
ing inhabitants, but a few years ago, viz., about the year 
1640. The process of the business was told the king 
when at Oxford, which he caused to be farther ex* 

1 Bishop Hall « On the Invisible World." 
""-. ' Franciscus Coventriensls : Paralipom. Philosophiae c. 4. 

MayiM S. Moderu. 241 

amined. It was this : — ^A certain boy of twelve years old, 
called John Trelille, in the county of Cornwall, not far 
from the Land's End, as they were playing at foot-ball, 
snatching up the ball ran away with it ; whereupon, a girl 
in anger struck him with a thick stick oix the backbone, 
and so bruised or broke it, that for sixteen years after he 
was forced to go creeping on the ground. In this con- 
dition he arrived to the twenty-eighth year of his age, when 
he dreamed that if he did but bathe in St. Madem's well, 
or in the stream running from it, he should recover his 
former strength and health. This is a place in Cornwall, 
from the remains of ancient devotion, still frequented by 
Protestants on the Thursdays in May, and especially on 
the feast of Corpus Christi ; near to which well is a chapel 
dedicated to St. Madem, where is yet an altar, and right 
against it a grassy hillock (made every year anew by the 
country people) which they call St Madem's bed. The 
chapel roof is quite decayed; but a kind of thorn of itself 
shooting forth of the old walls, so extends its boughs that it 
covers the whole chapel, and supplies as it were a roof. 
On a Thursday in May, assisted by one Periman, his 
neighbour, entertaining great hopes from his dream, thither 
he crept, and l)ang before the altar, and praying very 
fervently that he might regain his health and the strength 
of his limbs, he washed his whole body in the stream that 
flowed from the well, and ran through the chapel: after 
which, having slept about an hour and a half on S. 
Madem's bed, through the extremity of pain he felt in his 
nerves and arteries, he began to cry out, and his com- 
panion helping and lifting him up, he perceived his hams 
and joints somewhat extended, and himself becoming 
stronger insomuch that partly with his feet, partly with 
his hands, he went much more erect than before. Before 
the following Thursday he got two cmtches, resting on 
VOL. V. 16 

242 Lives of the Saints. [Mayiy, 

which he could make a shift to walk, which before he 
could not do. And coming to the chapel as before, after 
having bathed himself, he slept on the same bed, and 
awaking found himself much stronger and more upright, 
and so, leaving one crutch in the chapel, he went homo 
with the others. The third Thursday he returned to the 
chapel, and bathed as before, slept, and when he awoke, 
rose up quite cured ; yea, grew so strong, that he wrought 
day labour among other hired servants ; and four years after 
listed himself a soldier in the king's army, where he 
behaved himself with great stoutness, both of mind and 
body : at length, in 1644, he was slain at Lyme, in Dorset- 

(a.d. 1592.) 

fBeatified by Pope Paul V., in 1618, and canonized by Alexander Vin.» 
in 169a Authority :— The life of the saint written b]r^ohn Ximenes, his 
disciple, in 1598. It was printed at Valentia in 1601.] 

S. Paschal Baylon was born of very poor parents at 
Torre-Hermosa, in Aragon, in the year 1540, on Easter 
Day. As a boy he served a master named Martin Garcia, 
as shepherd, and was so good, obedient, and trustworthy, 
that his master offered to adopt him as his own son. But 
Paschal had set his heart on embracing the religious life, 
and he went to Monfort, in Valentia, where was a convent 
of discalced Franciscans, and entered their society as a 
lay-brother. In 1565 he took full vows, being then aged 
twenty-five. The general of the order being in Paris, 
Paschal was sent to see him on some affairs of the com- 
munity. At that time France was ravaged by the Hugue- 
nots. The life of Paschal was frequently endangered 
by the heretics. At Orleans he was surrounded by a mob 

■May 17.] S. Pasckal BayloTi. 243 

of furious Calviaists, who asked him if he believed ia the 
presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. When he boldly 
confessed his faith, they set on him with stones, and 
he had great difficulty in escaping. As it was, his shoulder 
was so injured that he never completely recovered the use 
of that arm. He then asked for alms at the gate of a 
chateau, but the owner, a Calvinist, threw him into a 
dungeon, from which, however, he was liberated by the 
gentleman's wife. He would have perished by falling 
again into the hands of the mob, had not a peasant 
concealed him all night in his stable, and sent him off 
on the Paris road before dawn. 

He died on May 15th, in tlie year 1592, in the convent 
of the Friars Minors at Villa Reale, in Valentia, at the 
age of fifty-two. His body is preserved in the convent 
church* < 

244 Lives of the Saints. cway is. 

May 18. 

S. Vbn'ANtixts, M. at Camerino in Italy. 

SS. Trioootus and Companions, MM. at Ancyra, a.d. 304. 

S. Felix, B. <kf Spalato in Dalmatia, eirc. a.d. 304. 

SS. Urban, Thbooors and Lxxvni. Comp., MM, at Ctnstantinople, 

A.D. 370. 
S. CoNWAL, Archd. of Glasgonv, >jth cent, 
S. Elfoiva, Q. at Shaftesbury , a.d. 971. 
S. Erick, K,M. qf S'weden, a.d. 115 x. 
S. Fklix of Cantalice, O.M. at Rom.', a.d. 1587. 

(date uncertain.) 

tRoman Martyrology. Venerated as Patron of Camerino. No trust- 
worthy Acts exist. Those which profess to be the Acts of S. Venantius 
are simply those of S. Agapitus, with the name of the saint and of the 
place changed. They begin '* In the days of Antiochus the king, there was 
in the city of Camerino a youth name Venantius." What Antiochus the 
king had to do with Italy is not very evident. But when we tuni to the 
Acts of S. Agapitus (Aug. 18th) we find they begin, "In the days of 
Antiochus the king, there was in the city of Prseneste a youth named Aga- 
pitus." The whole is manifestly apocryphal from beginning to end.] 

[HE body of this saint is preserved at Camerino. 
Pope Clement X. had a singular devotion to 
him, and decreed the observance of his festival 
on this day. The false Acts assert that he was 
arrested at the age of fifteen, and was thrown to wild beasts, 
but they did not touch him. He was then dragged over 
thorns, thrown down a precipice, and his head struck off. 
There is not a particle of trustworthy history in the story 
of this saint 

Mayis.] SS. Thesdottts & Coinp, 243 


(a.d. 304.) 

[Venerated on this day, especially in the Laura of S. Sabas belwecn 
Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. The Menology of the Emperor Basil, and 
the Modem Roman Martyrology. Authority : — The Greek Acts by Nihis, 
an eye-witness of a great part of what he describes. These Acts arc of 
special interest both on account of the freshness of the style, and because 
-of the introduction of many words of the Galatian dialect. The authen- 
ticity of these Acts is beyond a doubt.] 

Theodotus was an innkeeper near Ancyra in Galalia, 
a worthy man, and a good Christian, who, in time of 
persecution, sheltered many of the faithful in his house. 
At that time the governor Theotecnus was using his best 
endeavours to destroy Christianity "in Ancyra. A man 
named Victor was brought before him, accused of having 
•spoken m:ckingly of the god?, and Theotecnus ordered 
him to te scourged. Under the excess of his anguish 
Victor asied to be taken down and allowed a respite to 
reconsider his determination. He was led back tO' 
prison, but died there, "leaving us in doubt," says the 
author, "as to what was the end of his confession, and to 
this day his memory is obscured by uncertainty." 

One day Theodotus the innkeeper was returning to 
Ancyra from the river Halys, whence he had recovered the 
body of a martyr named Valens, who had been flung into 
it, when at the fortieth milestone from Ancyra, he and 
^ party of fellow-Christians who were with him, rested in 
a pleasant shady place on the grass, opened their baskets, 
and produced their food. Near at hand was the vi lage of 
Malos, and Theodotus sent one of his companions into it 
to find the Christian priest, named Front 0, who lived 
there, to share their meal. Fronto came, and found the 
party lying on the grass, enjoying the shade, and he was' 
warmly greeted by Theodotus. The priest urjed them all^ 

246 Lives of the Saints. iMayis*. 

to come to his farm and shelter there, but they were so- 
pleased with the beauty of the spot that they declined, 
preferring to eat in the open air. Then Theodotus said, 
suddenly, " Oh ! what a spot for a confession." By this- 
name the oratories and afterwards the churches wer^ 
called which were built over the tombs of martyrs. And he^ 
added, "Fronto, build one here." *'My friend," said 
the priest, "you are too precipitate; we must have the 
martyr before we can have the church." " Ancyra is the* 
scene of many a conflict now," said Theodotus, ** build the 
church, and I will provide you with the martyr. Here,, 
take this as token, and return it me when I have redeemed 
the pledge." Then he plucked a gold ring off his finger^ 
and placed it on that of the priest 

After this they parted, and Theodotus returned to the 
city. Now about this time seven virgins were accused and 
brought before the magistrate. Their names were Tecusa,, 
Alexandra, Phaina, Claudia, Euphrasia, Matrona, and Julitta. 
Of these the three first were tonsecrated virgins (Apotactitse), 
and Teucsa was the aunt of Theodotus the innkeeper. As 
the magistrate, Theotecaus, was unable to move the con- 
stancy of these virgins, he gave them up to be insulted by 
some young men, who began to address them in the most 
offensive terms. Tecusa suddenly turned upon the most 
insolent of these reprobates, and plucking off the veil 
which had covered her head and concealed the features, 
said, "Boy, cease your impertinence; look on my wrinkles, 
and white hair; perchance you have an old mother with 
grey head, reverence that grey head in me." She shamed 
him, and the others put to the blush as well, by the dignified 
•modesty of the virgins, left them without further annoyance. 

But Theotecnus, the magistrate, was determined to- 
break their constancy, and to effect this he had recourse 
to an expedient of almost unparalleled cruelty. The next. 

Mayis.] SS. Theodotus & Comp. 247 

day was a celebrated festival at Ancyra, which consisted in 
ths solem:i and public washing of the image of the 
goddess Di na in a shallow pool or marsh near the city. 
But one of the most oflfensive rites of heathen worship was 
associated with this ceremony. It was customary for those 
women who consecrated themselves to become priestesses 
of Diana to bathe publicly with the idol. 

Taking adv ntage of this festival, Theotecn':!s gave 
orders that the seven virgins should be stripped, their 
hanis bound behind them, and that they should be 
carried on carts in the procession with the idol ito 
the pond, and that they should be bathed with it, and 
be thus consecrated priestesses whether they willed it or 

Tiie writer then describes the hideous procession, each 
poor woman upr ght in one cart, and seven carts preceding 
that in which was the idol, a band going before with 
trumpets, cymbals and shawns, and a roaring, laughing, 
mad multitude on either side eager for the sport, pouring 
towards the marshy pool. 

In the meantime Theodotus and several Christians were 
assembled in a cottage near at hand, belonging to a poor 
man, named Theocharis, where they remained instant in 
prayer, ashamed to go forth to such a spectacle, and bleed- 
ing at heart for the poor sufiferers. But the wife of Theo- 
charis was sent out to watch the proceedings and to bring 
them news of what took place. The blare of trumpets, the 
rush of feet, and the roar of voices passed, and all was 
still. Presently the woman came to the door, and an- 
nounced that the seven virgins had all been drowned. In 
vain had they been offered the white robes and crowns of 
flowers belonging to a priestess of Diana, they had thrust 
them away with indignation, and the governor had ordered 
stones to be attached to the necks of the seven virgins and 

248 Lives of the Saints. uiayis. 

that they should be flung into the water, and so they all 
had been drowned. 

Then the Christians rose from the floor on which they 
had cast themselves, weeping and praying, and standing 
they stretched their hands to heaven and cried, " Thanks, 
tlianks, be to Thee, O God." And after a pause Theodotus 
asked eagerly, " Where were they cast, in the shallow part 
or near the middle?" 

"About two acres of water lie between the place where 
Aey have been sunk and the shore." 

In the evening Theodotus consulted with his younger 
brother Polychronius and with Theocharis as to the possi- 
bility of recovering the bodies. The water was nowhere very 
deep. But having sent a boy to examine the spot, they 
were told by him that a guard of soldiers was stationed by 
the lake to prevent the Christians from approaching it to 
recover the corpses. 

This disheartened Theodotus ; but that night he dreamt 
that his aunt appeared to him, and bade him not fear, but 
rescue the bodies. "Only," she added, "beware of traitors.'' 

Next morning early the boy — ^his name was Glycerius — 
was sent again to observe the lake. He returned with the 
news that the soldiers were still there. However, as the 
day was a great festival to Diana, they suspected that the 
guard would be withdrawn, and later in the morning 
Theocharis and Glycerius were sent again to see. They 
returned with the news that the watch was still on guard. 

Theodotus accordingly remained within all day. As soon 
as night fell, Theodotus and the others went out armed with 
sickles wherewith to cut the cords that attached the stones to 
the necks of the dead women. The night was pitch dark. 
Not a star wa$ visible. Their way led through the place 
of public execution, "a place carefully avoided by every 
one after sunset," where grinning heads were erect on 

Mayi8.] SS. Tkcodotus and Comp. 249 

poles, and charred bodies stood attached to the posts by 
iron hoops, leaning forward, with drooping arms ; anS here 
and there a headless corpse lay on the ground. Imagine 
all this, lit by sudden flashes of lightning, and with thunder 
rumbling in the distance, and you may well believe Nilus 
when he says that they were dreadfully frightened. How- 
ever, they signed themselves with the cross, and pushed on. 
The night became so dark that one could not see the 
other, and now rain began to fall in torrents, and the 
lightning blazed with dazzling effulgence, leaving next 
moment everything darker by contrast. The advancing 
party were uncertain of their way, the road became muddy, 
and they slipped about Then, in their uncertainty, they 
stood still and prayed. Instantly they saw two lanterns 
going along the road before them in the direction of the 
lake, they followed till they found themselves at the spot 
where the guards had been posted, but the guards were 
not there, they had taken shelter from the storm. The 
Christians then went into the water and waded on till they 
came to the bodies, when they severed the cords, and 
brought them all to the shore, and having carried them to 
where some packhorses had been brought for the purpose 
they conveyed them away and buried them. 

Next mommg it was discovered that the bodies had 
been stolen, and the governor was furious. 

Polychronius went into the town, disguised as a country- 
man, but was taken and brought before the governor, who 
threatened him with torture unless he would renounce 
Chrisl:. The wretched man, in his abject fear to escap2 the 
rack, betrayed what he knew, and told Theotecnus that 
the bodies of the seven mart)n:ed virgins had been stolen 
by Theodotus, and showed the gove.nor where they were 

Theotecnus ordered the bodies to be cast into a huge 

250 Lives 0/ the Saints. [May 18. 

fire and consumed, and that Theodotus should be sought 
out arid brought before him. 

In the me:intime Theodotus was in the co tige of 
Theocharis, wondering at the delay of his broth:r. At last 
he resolved to go forth and see what had bee >me of him. 
He bade farewell to his friends and left the house. He had 
not gone far before he met two Christians, runnin<r, to warn 
him to fly, as Folychronius had turned traitor. Theodotus 
knew that flight was now in vain, and he walked boldly 
forward into the town, strode into the court before the gover- 
nor, and said with unmoved countenance, '^ Here am I." 

It would answer his purpose better to obtain the 
apostasy than the execution of Theodotus, therefore 
the governor tried hard to persuade the i nk?eper into 
compliance with his will. But Theodotus remained 
inflexible. And then the governor lost all control over 
himself, and ordered him to immediate torture. The 
martyr looked round with a bright unclouded face on the 
braziers containing pincers red-hot, the molten lead, the 
rack, and the hideous flesh-rakes clotted with skin and gore. 

He was tied to the rack, and his sides were lacerated 
with the h vOks. These were little iron rakes which tore 
the flesh to the bones. The people shouted, the idol- 
priests ran about exciting them against the martyr, and 
clamouring for keener torments. When his body was a 
mass of wounds, Theotecnus ordered vinegar to be poured 
over it, and torches to be applied to his sides. Then, 
stung by the acid, and shrinking from the fire, the martyr 
turned his head with a sharp movement " Ah ! " shouted 
the governor, leaping down into the place of ex.cution, 
'* where is your boasting ? See what your contempt of the 
gods has brought you to." 

" I scorn thy gods, I despise thy emperors, and thee I 
regard but as their freed-mm/' said the martyr. 

wayis] 6'^'. TJieodohts and Comp. 251 

*• Smash that publican's jaw," said Th'jotecnus, furiously, 
and the mar yr's cheeks and teeth were beaten a stone. 
After that the governor ordered him to be removed from 
the rack and cast into prison. 

There the sufferer languished for five days, at the end 
of which he was again brought out, and Theotecnus 
ordered him to be placed on red-hot coals, and afterwards 
to be re-hung on the rack and all the old wounds which 
had began t3 skin over, to be ripped open again. Then, 
weary wi h torturing him, he bade him to be taken on a 
tumbril out of the town and executed. 

So he was carried forth, and all Ancyra rushed to the 
spot of execution, men, women, and children, shouting, 
running, and jeering the martyr. And when Theodotus 
was at the place, he raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, 
"Lord Jesus Christ, I thank Th:e that Thou hast given 
me strength to crush the head of the old dragon. Give 
rest to thy servants, and restrain the violence of the enemy; 
give peace to Thy Church, and save it from the tyranny of 
the evil one." So saying, he received the mortal stroke. 

Then by the commands of the governor a quantity of 
wood was collected and the body was thrown on the heap, 
and the soldiers attempted to light the pile to consume 
the corpse, but the rains had so moistened the sticks ihat 
they would not kindle, and as the day was far advanced, 
the burning of the body of the martyr was postponed tiU 
the following day. But lest the Christians should steal it 
away, a guard was detailed to watch it. 

No sooner had dusk set in, than the soldiers, expecting 
a rainy night, set to work with hatchets and cut and drove 
four posts into the ground, for the construction of a lodge, 
wattled the sides with branches, and thatched the top \\ith 
broom and rushes, leaving the hut open towards the pile 
on which lay the body, covered with grass and branches. 

Now it chanced that late the same night the priest 

252 Lives of tlie Saints. [Ma>is. 


Fronto came towards Ancyra driving an ass laden with some 
old wine which he purposed selling in the city. The way 
was long, forty miles, the ass slow, and he did not approach 
his destination till near midnight Passing the bivouac of 
the soldiers, they called to him and asked him where he 
was going. He answered that he was going into the city. 
" Friend, all the taverns are closed long ago," said one of ■ 
the guards; "come and keep us company till the day ( 
breaks." Fronto, seeing that this was his best course, 
tethered the ass, unladed it, and sat himself by the bivouac 
fire among the soldiers. Then follows an amusing account 
of the talk of the guards, how they puzzled Fronto \\ith 
their allusions to the martyrdoms that had taken place, 
how their slang expressions were incomprehensible to 
him, and he was obliged to tell them that as he had not 
brought an interpreter with him, they must talk more in- 
telligibly. At last he grasped the whole position. A 
martyr's body lay on the faggots outside, -and the martyr 
was his friend Theodotus. Perhaps at the same moment 
the story of the master-thief and King Rhampsinitus, as 
related by Herodotus, flashed into his memory ; perhaps he 
only caught at the readiest expedient that presented itself. 
At any rate an incident in that old legend was repeated on 
this occasion. The priest produced some of his old wine. 
" This is rare wine," said one of the soldiers ; " how old is 
it?" "Five years." " I shan't forget it in a hurry ; no, not 
till I take my sip of better," said another. " Ah ! " quoth 
a third, "I need a good draught of strong wine to forget 
the hiding I got for letting the bodies of those old women 
be whisked off, the other night" So talking, they drank, 
and Fronto spared not the liquor, till the whole party had 
fallen into a drunken slumber. 

Then be softly stole out, uncovered die body, recog- 
nized it, and saying, "Ah! Theodotus, dost thou thus 
redeem thy pledge?" placed the gold ring on the dead 

Mayis.] S. Felix. 25 


man's finger, tied his body on the ass, loosed the tether, 
and let the ass go, trusting that it would at once make the 
best of its way back to the stable. Then he arranged the 
grass and bushes on the P3Te, as though nothing had 
been touched, and then began to cry and beat his hands, 
as if in despair. Some of the soldiers woke and ran to 
him and asked what was the matter. "My ass has 
broken his tether and has run away I" 

Had Fronto gone off with his ass, the soldiers would 
have suspected mischief, but by this expedient he com- 
pletely threw them off their guard, and after they had 
quaffed some more of hi? wine, they allowed him to depart. 
Fronto at once hurried home, and found the ass with its 
load at his stable door. He removed the body to the 
grove where Theodotus had desired to see a " confession" 
erected, and there buried him. 


(about A.D. 304.) 

[Usuardus, Ado, Notker, and Roman Martyrology. Bellinus in his 
Martyrology published in 1498, put S. Felix down as Bishop of Spoleto, 
in Umbria, instead of Spalato in Dalmatia. He was followed by 
Maurolycus, Felicius, and Galesinius. The Roman Martyrology perpetu- 
ates the mistake. Ferrarius made the matter worse by calling him bishop 
of Hispalis, in Umbria. Spoleto forthwith adopted him as patron of tlie 
city. But this was not all. The door was opened to the Spaniards by 
this error, and Tamajus Salazar at once entered him in his Spanish 
Martyrology as Bishop of Guadix, martyred at Spali, in Vascongades, in 
the North of Spain. * He would no doubt have made him Bishop of 
Seville (Hispalis) had the list of bishops of that see admitted of his 
insertion. But finding a Felix in the catalogue of bishops of Guadix, he 
conveyed him to the next nearest place with a name sounding something 
like Hispalis, for the purpose of becoming a martyr there. Authority : — 
The Acts, how far genuine it is impossible to decide. ] 

Spalato contains the ruins of the palace of Diocletian, 
that cruel persecutor of the Church. To Spalato he 

254 Lives of the Saints. [Mayxs. 

retired, leaving the reins of the government in the 

hands of Maximian. At this time Felix was bishop of 

the city where he fixed his residence; and it was not 

\ possible for him to escape condemnation, being under the 

I eye of the aged lion. Accordingly he was soon taken, 

' brought before the tribunal of the emperor, and sentenced 

to death, first being tortured with fire, and afterwards 

executed witli the sword. 

(a.d. 971.) 

[Anglican Marfyrologies, but by some on May 5th. By Mayhcw on 
June 30th. Authorities :— William of Malmesbury, Florence of Wor- 
cester, and Roger of Hoveden.] 

S. Elfgyva was queen of Edmund the Magnificent, 
who came to the throne of England in 940, succeeding his 
brother Athelstan. Edmund did not reign long. In the 
year 945 he was keeping the feast of S. Augustine of 
Canterl.ury at Pucklechurch, in Gloucestershire, and there 
came into the hall one Liofa, a robber, whom he had 
banished six years before. This man went and sat down 
by one of the chiefs, near the king himself. Edmund bade 
his cup-bearer remove him; but instead of going, Liofa 
tried to kill the cup-bearer. Then the king got up and 
went to help his servant, and seized Liofa by the hair and 
threw him on the ground, but the robber had a dagger, 
and stabbed the king from below. Liofa was cut to 
pieces at once by the king's men, but Edmund died of the 
wound. Elfgyva and Edmund had two sons, Edwy and 
Edgar, but as they were very young, Edred, the brother of 
Edmund, was chosen to succeed him. He must have 
been a young mun himself, for his elder brother Edmund 

Mayi8.] S. Elfgyva. 255 

was only twenty-four when he was killed. Edgar was 
born in 943. 

The poor young queen had lost her husband early, but 
this was the least of her sorrows. In her widowhood she 
laboured to heal the wounds of the sufferers. " She was 
the adviser and ennobler of the whole kingdom, the con- 
soler of the Church, the support of tlie needy and the 

But her heart was wrung by the vicious conduct of 
Edwy, her eldest son, whose wantonness became a general 
scandal. Edwy became king in 955, and was succeeded 
by his brother Edgar, whose morals were in no way 
superior. William of Malmesbury says of the queen- 
mother, **She was a woman intent on good works, and 
gifted with such affection and kindness, that she would 
even secretly discharge the penalties of those culprits 
whom the sad sentences of the judges had publicly 
condemned. That costly clothing, which, to many women, 
is the occasion of evil, was to her a means of liberality; as 
she would give a garment of the most beautiful workman- 
-ship to the first poor person she saw. Even malice itself, 
as there was nothing to carp at, might praise the beauty of 
her person, and the work of her hands."^ 

She retired at length into the convent of Shaftesbury, 
which had been founded by King Alfred, and there died. 

1 Osbern in Vit. S. Dunstani. 
4 William uf Malmesbury* English Cbron., lib. ii., c. 8. 

256 Lives of the Saints. [Mayis. 

S. ERICK, K. M. 

(A.D. 1 151.) 

[Roman and Scandinavian Martyrologies. Authority:— The Acts 
written by Israel, Cdnon of Upsal, after 1409, and the Swedish rhymed 
Chronide^ Adam of Bremen, &c.] 

S. Erick's father was called Edward, <'a good and 
wealthy yeoman,'' says the old Swedish chronicle; his^ 
mother, Cecilia, was sister of Erick, king of Swedeland* 
He was himself married to Christina, daughter of Ingi the 
Younger, or as others state, of Ingi the Elder. "Three 
things did holy King Erick endeavour,'' says the legend^ 
''to build churches, and reform religion, to govern the 
people as law and justice pointed out, and to overcome 
the enemies of his faith and realm." The establishment 
of Christianity in Upper Sweden was undoubtedly his 
work. Before his reign, even at Upsala, there were neither 
priests nor a convenient church, wherefore he first applied 
himself to the completion of the church, "now called Old 
Upsala, and appointed clerks for th^ministry of the altar."^ 
An old table of kings denominates him the Lawgiver, and 
the rights of Swedish matrons to the place of honour and 
housewifedom, to lock and key, to the half of the marriage- 
bed, and the legal third of the property, as the law of 
Upland expresses it^ are said to have been conferred by the 
law of S. Eric. Against the heathens of Finland, whose 
piracies harassed the Swedish coast, he undertook a 
crusade, and by introducing Christianity, as also probably 
by transplanting Swedish colonists thither, he laid the 
foundation of the connection which so long subsisted 
between Sweden and that country. S. Henry, the first 
bishop of Upsala, of whose active exertions in propagating 
Christianity, history has preserved some record, accom- 
panied the king on this expedition; he was the first 

Mayis.] - S. Erick. 257 

apostle of the Finns, and suffered at their hands the death 
of a martyr. At last, Erick was unexpectedly beleaguered 
in Upsala by the Danish prince, Magnus, during the 
celebration of divine service. The king heard the 
mass out, and marched against the enemy. After a 
short but valiant resistance he fell dead, covered with 
wounds,^ May, 1160. His virtues, and the austerity of 
his life, procured him after death the reputation of a 
saint. He was reverenced as the protector of Sweden; 
his banner waved in the field to encourage the Swedes 
in battle with enemies of the realm ; the anniversary of his 
death was kept sacred throughout all the provinces; the 
town of Stockholm bears his effigy on its arms, and the 
cathedral of Upsala still preserves his relics, once the 
objects of veneration. By the Church he was never 
canonized, although a hundred years after his death, the 
popes, informed of the homage which the people con- 
tinued to pay to his memory, exhorted the devout to make 
pilgrimages to his tomb. The Roman Court, however, 
was far from being well-inclined to him at one time, for in a 
papal rescript of 1 208, his family is represented as having 
violently usurped the crown, to the injury of the house of 
Swerker, its legitimate owners. The old accounts unani- 
mously assign him a reign of ten years ; he was therefore 
raised to the crown in 1x50, five years before the death of 
Swerker. His sovereignty at first extended only over 
Sweden Proper; indeed he was acknowledged but for a 
time in Gothland, whose inhabitants had nominated 
Charles Swerkerson. The latter' is said to have held real 
possession of the government for two years before the 
death of Eric, and is even accused of being a party to the 
plot against him. 

> At East Arcs, the present Upsala, on the i8th of May, 1160." 
VOL. V. 17 

258 Lives of the Saints. [May is. 

(a.d. 1587.) 

[Beatified by Pope Urban VIII. in 1625 ; canonized by Clement XI. in 
1712 ; but the bull of canonization was not published till 1724, by Bene- 
dict XIII. Authorities : — A life by Fr. Sancti, Guardian of the Capuchin 
Convent at Rome, in which he Uved and died ; and aaother contemporary 
life by Matthias Salodiensis.] 

This good Capuchin was born at Cantalice, at the .foot 
of the Apennines, on the confines of the Duchy of Spoleto, 
in the year 15 13. His parents were very poor, and worked 
for their daily bread. His father's name was Sante, or 
Saint, and he was a good man, and had even a sort of 
prophetic power, for it is told of him that as he watched 
the death of a little grandson, he said, "Go forth in peace, 
my little saint, with God's blessing and thy grandfather's, 
on Saturday next we shall meet again." And though he 
was hale when he spoke, on the day he had named the old 
man died. Felix was the third of four children. Even 
from his childhood he showed a marked leaning towards 
religion, so that the children used to point him out as 
" Felix the little saint" His childhood was passed keep- 
ing sheep. He was wont to take his rest in the heat of 
noon, and say his prayers under a great oak, in the bark of 
which he cut a cross. When sufficiently old, he was placed 
at the plough. His conduct was always imimpeachable, 
always quiet, self-contained, seeking peace and ensuing it. 
When any of his companions ill-treated or abused him, his 
usual soft answer to turn away wrath was, " May God make 
a saint of thee, my friend !" 

One day he heard read the lives of some of the Egyptian 
hermits, and he felt a great longing to embrace the life of a 
recluse ; but, on further consideration, he thought himself 
not equal to such a life, and he preferred entering ^ 
leligious house. Yet he postponed the day from year to 

Mayis.] S. Felix of Cantatice. 259 

year, till an accident made him resolve to delay his renun- 
ciation 6f the world no longer. He was driving two 
bullocks in a plough, when hfs master suddenly opened 
the gate into the field and entered in a black dress. This 
scared the oxen, and they dashed over Felix, trampling 
him under foot, and drew the plough over him. Provi- 
dentially he was unhurt, though his clothes were cut and 
torn. He delayed no longer, but went to the nearest 
-convent of Capuchins, and asked to be admitted as a lay 
novice. The superior took him by the hand, led him 
before a crucifix, and said, "Look up, Jesus Christ suffered 
for thee. Hast thou courage to follow His traces?" Thq 
tears rolled down the ploughman's cheeks, and he ex- 
pressed his desire to take up his cross in such fervent 
words, that the superior gave him a letter of introduction, 
and sent him to the provincial at Rome. He was then 
thirty years old. He passed his noviciate in the convent 
of Anticola. Four years after he was sent to Rome, and 
there spent the rest of his life. As his deficiency in edU' 
cation prevented him from aspiring to be a choir brother, 
he was employed in going about begging for food and 
money for the convent. When given anything he at once 
responded Deo graiias, "Thanks be to God." And this 
expression became so familiar to his lips that he uttered it 
on every occasion. Once he came upon two gentlemen 
fighting a duel, he rushed between them, beat down their 
swords, crying, "Deo gratias; my brethren, say Deo 
gratias, each of you." And there he stood grasping their 
swords in his firm hands, and looking from one to the 
other. At last the gentlemen said the required words. 
" Now your battle is done," said the Capuchin ; " let me 
hear the occasion of your quarrel and reconcile you." And 
he succeeded in sending them away friends. 

" Oh, how fair is creation !" he would exclaim on issuing 

26o Lives of the Saints. tMayx^ 

from the convent gates, "Deogratiasl All the creatures 
of God serve only to raise our hearts to the giver of all 
good things, and make us cry out in love and thankfulness^ 
Deo gratias !" 

And when he came on little children playing with flowers^ 
or plucking fruit, or full of merriment over some innocent 
toy, he would stop, point up to the blue sky, as recalling 
to them the source of all beauty, pleasure, and happiness, 
and say "Deo gratias!" He became so well known by 
this expression that the little ones used to call him Brother 
Deo gratias ; and from a distance, when they saw the old 
white-bearded Capuchin coming along in his snuff-coloured 
habit, they would cry out, "Deo gratias! brother Felix, 
Deo gratias !" Then the old man's eyes would fill with 
tears, and a smile would light up his rugged features, and 
he would exclaim, " My dear children, yes, Deo gratias I 
God bless you all !" 

When he returned from his begging expeditions, he 
loved to retire to the church and kneel before the Blessed 
Sacrament in a rapture of love and thankfulness, and pour 
forth his prayer. He was watched once, and was seen 
standing before the altar, with outspread arms, supplicating, 
" Lord, I recommend to Thee my poor people ; I recom- 
mend to Thee the kind persons who have been our bene- 
factors. Great God, have mercy on them all." It was a 
short, simple prayer, but it expressed all the charity of his 

He was asked once why he walked barefoot instead of 
wearing sandals like the other friars. " Only because it is 
easier for my feet," said he, though in reality he had 
rejected sandals out of humility. In his old age the 
guardian once said something about his being too aged to 
carry the sack of food he had begged. " Nay, nay," said 
S. Felix, "let the old ass carry its load till it falfe under it'* 

-Mayis.] S. Felix of Cantalicc, 261 

When he was very ill and confined to his bed, if not 
closely watched, he would crawl to the church and faint 
away before the altar, In his last agony he was as though 
engaged in conflict with the enemy of souls, for he rose 
partly in bed, on one elbow, and waving; the other arm in 
the air, as his dim eyes looked into vacancy, he said, " No, 
I cannot despair ; it is my own Saviour Who will judge 
me, and I will not doubt His mercy." Then he laid him- 
self down again and sighed forth his innocent and happy 

His body is in the church of his Order in Rome. He 
is represented with a sack over his shoulder, on which is 
written Deo gratias^ or leading an ass laden with the sack ; 
sometimes giving S. Philip Neri to drink out of a bottle in 
the midst of a street, this incident being related of him. 

262 Lives of the Saints. tway i;- 

May 19. 

SS. PuDENTiANA, T.M., AKD PuDEKS, HER Father, at Rofiie, 2nd cent» 

SS. Calocerus and Parthenius, MM, at Rome, a.d. ajo. 

SS. Philetarus and Eubiotus, mm, at Cy%lcus, a.d. 311 and 3fS* . 

S. Theodore, B, of Lueea, 4th cent, 

B. Alcuin, Mk. at I'ours, a.d. 804* 

S. DuNSTAN, Arehb. of Canterbury, a.d. 98S. 

S. Peter Cslestinb, Pope of Rome, a.d. 1296. 

S. Yvo, P.C, at Ireguier, in Brittany, a.d. 1303. 


(2ND CENT.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Mentioned in the Sacramentary of Pope GelasiuSi 
S. Pudens her father also in the Roman Martyrology aiid in that of Usuar- 
dus, Ado, Bellinus and Maurolycus. S. Pra^ttdis, the sister of S. Puden- 
tiana, is commemorated on July 21st. Authority : — The Acts, which 
purport to be written by S. Pastor (July 27th) a contemporary. But their 
authenticity is very questionable.] 

[AINT PUDENS was a Roman senator, who 
had the honour of receiving S. Peter into his^ 
house, when the prince of the Apostles came 
to Rome. He was probably converted by 
S. Paul, for that Apostle mentions him as his disciple- in 
his second Epistle to S. Timothy. He died in the inno- 
cence of his baptismal condition, and left behind him two 
daughters, Praxedis and Pudentiana. These saintly virgins^ 
gave great alms to the poor, and their palace was used^ 
for the celebration of the Divine Mysteries. S. Pudentiana. 
is said to have died a martyr's death in the year i6o,^ but 
this is hardly possible, and it is more probable that there 
were two saints of the same name, and that a similar 
confusion has been made in her case to that which exists 

I The Acts by S. Pastor say nothing about her dying by martyrdom, but simply 
state that she died at the age of sixteen. Consequently the Pudentiana who diedi 
in x6o must hare been another. 

May^p.] B. Alcuin, 263 

in the case of S. Prisca. She was burled in the catacomb 
of S. Priscilla, the wife of Punicus, and mother of S. 

The relics of S. Pudentiana have been conveyed to 
France, and repose in the church of Ch^tillon-sur-long, in 
the diocese of Orleans. 

(a.d. 804.) 

[Galilean Maityrologies. Hrabanus, Greven and Molanus in their 
additions to Usuardus. Authority : — ^A life by a writer almost his con- 
temporary, and his own writings. The life was written before 829, accord- 
ing to Sigulf the disciple of Alcuin, who furnished the writer with much of 
his information. But this life is colourless and poor. Far richer details 
may be gathered from the epistles of Alcuin, A good modem life of Alcuin 
is that of Dr. F. Lorenz, professor of history to the University of Halle.] 

The last of the distinguished Anglo-Saxons whose name 
shed lustre on the empire of the Frankish monarchs in the 
eighth century, was Alcuin. Bom at York, about the year 
735, of a noble family, Alcuin^ was scarcely weaned from 
his mother's breast when he was dedicated to the Church, 
and entrusted to the care of the inmates of a monastery, 
and on reaching the proper age, he was placed in the 
school of Archbishop Egbert, then celebrated for the 
number of noble youths who crowded thither to imbibe 
instruction from the lips of that saintly prelate. Alcuin 
was distinguished above his fellows by his application to 
the study of the sciences, which were taught by Egbert's 
kinsman Aelbert, who succeeded him in 766 in the see of 
York, and in the management of the school. Alcuin was 
Aelbert's favourite pupil ; when about twenty years of age, 
he was chosen to accompany him on a visit to the conti* 

^His name was originally Albeis, why and when he changed it does not 

264 Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

ntnt in search of books, and of new discoveries in science, 
and on that occasion he resided for a short time in Rome. 
Immediately after Aelbert's accession to the archiepiscopal 
see, he ordained Alcuin deacon, appointed him to fill th2 
place which he had himself occupied in the school, and 
gave him the care of the extensive library attached to it. 
Under Alcuin's superintendence the school increased in 
reputation, and many foreigners came to partake of the ad- 
vantages derived from his teaching. Archbishop Aelbert 
died on the 8th November, 780, and was succeeded by 
Eanbald, one of Alcuin's pupils, who, in the following year 
sent his instructor to Rome to obtain for him the pall at 
the hands of Pope Adrian I. On his return, Alcuin visited 
Parma, and there met Charlemagne, who had also been at 
Rome. That monarch was then meditating the foundation 
of scholastic institutions throughout his dominions, and he 
seized the opporiunity to persuade Alcuin to settle in 
France, and become his adviser and assistant in his projects 
of reform. 

There must have been something peculiarly engaging in 
Charlemagne. Alcuin met a great mind, full of noble aspira- 
tions, in advance of his age, and he saw that the emperor 
was a man whom he might direct aright, and who was one 
to render him every facility for raising the religious, moral and 
inteHectual tone of the mighty empire over which Charle^ 
magne had been placed. But before he joined the king, 
Alcuin continued his journey home, to fulfil his original, 
commission, and to obtain the consent of the archbishop ot 
York, and of Alfwold, king of Northumbria, to the proposed 
arrangement. He felt, and so did his spiritual and temporal 
superiors, that a door had been opened before him, and 
that it was not for them to attempt to close it In 782, 
followed by some of his chosen disciples, Alcuin left 
England for France. In the court of Charlemagne, Alcuin 

Mayig] B, Alcuill, 565 

^became, as one great writer^ calls him, the intellectual 
prime minister of the emperor. 

A slight sketch of the condition of the Church in the 
empire is necessary, that the reader may judge of the 
abuses Charlemagne and Alcuin had united to rectify. 

The higher classes of the clergy under the Franks at 
the time of the Merovingian princes were, according to the 
testimony of their contemporary and fellow-clerk, Gregory 
of Tours, to the last extent barbarous, dissolute, and 
corrupt. Adultery, murder, simony, false swearing, avarice, 
abounded among the bishops and dignitaries, and the 
example of the higher clergy corrupted those below them, 
and demoralized the laity. 

The episcopal thrones in Germany were occupied by 
Franks, and when S. Boniface came in the eighth century 
into Germany to convert the^ heathen, he found occasion 
to vehemently inveigh against the morals and conduct of 
the German bishops. His account of the Frankish clergy 
gives a terrible picture of disorder. He wrote to Pope 
Zacharias : " For long religion has been prostrate. In the 
course of eighty years the Franks have not held a single 
council, nor published a new decree, nor renewed a single 
old one. The possessors of the bishoprics are avaricious 
laymen, or adulterous priests, who only aim at temporal 
profit. Their deacons live from youth up in adultery and 
all uncleanness, and whilst still deacons have as many as 
four or five concubines. Nevertheless they are so bold 
that they read the Gospel publicly,. and are not ashamed 
to style themselves deacons. If they attain the priestly 
office, laden with all their crimes, they lead the same 
crimmal life, heap one sin upon another, and yet pretend 
to intercede for the people, and offer the Holy Sacrifice. 
The worst is that these men advance from one dignity to 

1 Agobard, Archbishop of Lyons. 

266 Lives of the Saints. tMayiy. 

_J I ■! II -^ 

another, and finally become bishops. If there are any 
among them who remain chaste, yet they give themselves 
up to drinking, hunting, and injustice, or go armed to 
batde, and shed with their own hands human blood, 
sometimes that of heathen, but sometimes also that of 

Bishop Gewilieb, of Mayence, was charged by S. Boni- 
face with murder, before a council at Worms, because he 
had killed in duel a Saxon who had assassinated his father. 
Bishop Ceroid of Worms. S. Boniface also charged 
Bishop Gewilieb with being addicted to hawking andt 
hunting, and endeavoured to obtain his deposition. 

The cause of the decay of discipline and general disorder 
in morals was probably this. The Frank kings saw how 
much their power would be supported and strengthened if 
the widely ramifjdng authority of the Church were made a 
base ibr their throne. They therefore richly endowed 
bishoprics and abbeys, and made the bishops and abbots to 
be vassals (ministralet) of the king. Thus Fredegar, in 740, 
speaks of the Burgundian barons, whether bishops or other 
feudatories.^ They were often employed in afiairs of the 
State, and were thus invested with a very important political 
influence. The possessions of the Church were regarded 
by the kings as feudal tenures (bemfida)^ and the bishops 
and abbots holding them were bound to arm and fight as 
vassals for their king. It was stipulated by law that the 
choice of a bishop should be confirmed by the king;^ but 
for the most part, the kings themselves appointed to the 
vacant sees, in spite of the often reiterated protests of the 
councils. Synods could not assemble without the royal 
permission; their decrees had to be confirmed by the 
king, being previously invalid. In the meantime the 
affairs of the Church were discussed and ordered, even 

> Fredigar, Cbron., caps* 4, f6. * Cone. Aurelian., ann* 849* 

May 19] B. Alcuifl. 26/ 

in the meetings of the king's council of Vassals, the 
placitMm regis ^ sy nodus regia; and the government of 
ecclesiastical affairs having thus passed into the hands 
of the State, synods qf bishops and clergy became 
more rare, and at length ceased altogether. This arrange- 
ment completed the downfall of the metropolitan system. 
The king became the sole and sovereign judge of the 
bishops. " If one of us, O King," wrote Gregory of Tours 
to King Chilperic, "shall have wished to transgress the 
path of justice, he is judged by thee, but if thou trans- 
gressest, who is to call thee to order? We may speak to 
thee, and if it pleases thee, thou mayest attend; but if 
thou wiliest not to listen, who is to condemn thee, except 
He Who is very Justice?"^ 

In proportion as the bishops rose higher in political in- 
fluence, the other clergy sank deepen No free man was 
allowed to receive orders without royal permission. Hence 
the clergy were chosen for the most part from among the 
serfs, and on this very account the bishops acquired an 
unlimited power over them, which frequently manifested 
itself in the most tyrannical conduqt. 

S. Boniface found the German Church in this deplorable 
condition; bishops and abbots mere creatures of the State, 
wealthy, and sometimes not even in holy orders, but enjoy- 
ing the temporalities without a thought of qualifying to 
administer the spiritualities of their charge. He strove to 
bring the bishops from this servitude to the crown into 
responsibility to the pope, hoping thereby to check the evil. 
But this could not be done without an alteration in the law. 
The abbots and bishops who held many feudal tenures 
were bound by a law of Charles Martel to march to war at 
the head of their retainers ; they were often engaged for a 
long period in fighting, and their abode in the camp 

* Hist, Franc, v. xg. 

268 Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

speedily assimilated them in morals and sentiments to the 
other feudal lords. For the extension of Christianity, the 
first missionaries had established numerous monastic colo- 
nies throughout Germany, and these were supported by 
the agricultural labours of the monks. But by degrees the 
farming interest prevailed over the spiritual in these houses. 
The monks proved themselves admirable agriculturalists, 
and for the sake of the cultivation of their fields neglected 
the harvest of souls. When Charlemagne ascended the 
throne, he found the Frank and German episcopal thrones 
and abbots' chairs occupied by men without learning and 
without morals, fighting, drinking, hunting, and utterly 
neglectful of their spiritual calling. Charlemagne was 
resolved to raise the people committed to his charge from 
the chains of ignorance and barbarism which held them 
fast To effect this he must begin by correcting the evil 
in head-quarters. He cut off the chief occasion of evil by 
exempting the bishops and abbots from military service, 
and he forbade them to hunt with hawks and hounds in 
the forests. This latter regulation, though repeatedly 
formulated, he found it impossible to enforce. The prelates 
were ready enough to be exempt from war, which broke in 
on their ease, but the chase was to them a darl ng pleasure 
of which they would not be deprived. At length Charle- 
magne, finding it impracticable to enforce his rule, and 
unwilling to acknowledge the impracticability, by law 
permitted the higher clergy to hunt, on condition that the 
skins of the beasts killed were used for binding books. 

This reminds us of a story told of Charlemagne which 
we should be sorry to suppose is fabulous. He was one 
day hunting in a forest, and lost his way. As night fell he 
came to a little church and priest's house, and asked for a 
lodging. It was readily accorded him, but his fare was 
scanty, though the best the poor priest could ofier. On 

May 19.] B. AlcUUl. 269 

the morrow the priest made the emperor hear mass, which 
he celebrated very devoutly, and then gave his guest, of 
whose rank he was ignorant, a plain breakfast, and dis- 
missed him with his blessing. The emperor, pleased with 
his piety, and compassionating the poverty of his host, 
offered him a piece of gold, which the priest refused, 
Saying, " Sir, I need not thy money, but if thou killest 
a hind to-day, I pray thee give me the skin, for my old 
Breviary sadly needs a cover." Charlemagne, ever ready 
to advance good men, did not forget the poor priest in the 
forest, but on the see of Treves falling vacant, appointed 
to it his host of that night. If this story rests on a 
true foundation, the priest was Amalarius, who afterwards 
as archbishop became a confidential adviser of the emperor. 

Charlemagne, under the direction of Alcuin, founded 
schools in which young clerics could be educated and 
disciplined, to shine as lights in the world, and not become 
a scandal to Christendom like the clergy under' his prede- 
cessors. By the determination and zeal of the emperor 
and Alcuin, the sees were one after another filled with 
worthy bishops, men of learning and piety, and Charle- 
magne was able to entrust to them the execution of justice 
in matters temporal within their dioceses as well as spiritual 
government He also chose from among them extra- 
ordinary judges (Missi dominici) whom he sent round every 
year into every province to exercise the highest oversight 
and power in things ecclesiastical as well as civil. With 
every bishop thus appointed was also a count. Bishops and 
counts were everywhere instructed to work together, and 
mutually to support one another ; ecclesiastical usurpations 
were not endured,^ and the oppressions of the counts and 
dukes weighing on the people were removed. 

In addition to these duties, the bishops were required to 

^ fee Capitulars for a.d. 779 (Baluz., i., 197, 3S7.) 

270 Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

make a visitation of their dioceses every year, to maintain 
ecclesiastical discipline and correct religious abuses. 
Where there was encroachment on ecclesiastical rights, the 
bishop might not judge alone, as an interested party, 
but was obliged to have seven assistants to try the case. 

Ecclesiastical legislation, the highest judicial power in' 
Church affairs, the management and confirmation of eccle- 
siastical decrees, still remained with the king, who sum- 
moned the spiritual as well as the civil feudatories to diets, 
conducted spiritual causes by the Apocrisiarius or Archica- 
pellanus^ afterwards ArchicancellariuSy as he did civil causes 

ft ^^ 

by the Counts Palatine (Comites Palatiu) 

At the time of Charlemagne, and afterwards, the bishops 
lived in some splendour, and in travelling were followed by 
a large company of servants, as may be judged from the 
amount of daily provision allowed to them when on a 
journey. According to a capitulary of Louis the Pious, in 
819, every bishop received daily for his provision, when on 
a journey, 40 loaves, i pig, 3 sucking-pigs, 3 hens, 15 eggs, 
3 tons of beer, and 4 sacks of grain for the horses. 

In spite of all Charlemagne's efforts to rectify the morals 
of the clergy, the religious condition of the priests was not 
raised to the level he desired. It was not possible to 
remedy abuses in a generation, but much, very much, is 
certainly due to that great king. In the capitularies for 81 1 
those clergy are censured who endeavour to obtain the 
goods of a dying man by promising him Heaven if he 
makes the priest his heir, and threatens him with hell if he 
leaves it to the rightful heirs ; they are also censured for 
caring rather to adorn their churches than advance Chris- 
tian virtue, to improve the singing rather than stimulate 
their clerks fo a holy life, and also for using compulsion to 
force men into the service of God. However, the moral 
tone of the clergy must have been much higher at this time, 

MayiQ.] B. Alcuin. 271 

for we find certain decrees of earlier capitularies, such as 
those forbidding priests to have more wives than one, and 
to attend buffooneries and coarse spectacles, no longer re- 
peated. Later we know that Hinkmar, archbishop of 
Rheims, commanded his clergy " not to indulge in vulgar 
sports with bears and tumblers," and that monks were 
forbidden spending their time in sporting with baiting 
bears and other wild beasts,^ 

Charlemagne was not content with leaving the bishops 
to their own devices. At times he sent orders that they 
were to preach and cause to be preached in their dioceses 
on some doctrine or moral theme he designated, and at 
other times he sent a question in theology to his bishops, 
requiring them to write answers to it, so that he might be 
satisfied of their theological knowledge and orthodoxy. By 
this means no ignorant prelate remained undetected, no 
unworthy bishop unmasked \ for if a bishop did not reach 
his standard in intellectual or moral requirements, he wa^ 
forthwith deposed. By this means also Charlemagne 
raised the character, and thereby the influence of the 
whole body of clergy, and from being the disgrace they 
became the honour of his empire. But this dignity to 
which he elevated them, and the authority it acquired for 
them, tended to their corruption under his unworthy and 
feeble successors. 

With what justice Charlemagne ruled the Church may 
be gathered from an incident which exhibits his conduct in 
the brightest colours. Bishop Theodulf of Orleans and 
Alcuin had quarrelled. Alcuin had been for many years 
the teacher, friend, and confidant of the emperor, who 
reverenced and loved this virtuous man, and made hinj his 
adviser in matters of the deepest import to the church and 
the empire. Now it fell out that a priest who had received 

1 Raumer, '< Hohenstaufer," vi., pp. 4x0^ 43a. 

272 Lives of the Saints. [Mayrp. 

sentence for his crimes from Bishop Theodulf escaped 
from prison, and fled to Tours, where he took refuge ia 
the sanctuary of S. Martin's abbey. Theodulf reclaimed 
the runaway ; the monks of S. Martin's vehemently main- 
tained their privilege of sanctuary, and armed their re- 
tainers against the officers of the bishop. All this took 
place without the knowledge of Alcuin, who was abbot of 
S. Martin's, but when he did hear of it he took the side of, 
his monks, and refused to deliver up the culprit to the 
imperial officer sent by orders of Charlemagne to claim 
him. Alcuin wrote to the emperor a vehement letter 
maintaining the rights of the sanctuary ; but Charlemagne 
earnestly deprecated the warmth and opposition of his 
bosom friend and preceptor, and insisted on the surrender 
of the culprit. This firmness no doubt cost him a pang, 
and it hastened Alcuin's death, but it shows that Charle- 
magne preferred justice to every other consideration. 

A great improvement was also wrought by Charlemagne 
and Alcuin in the condition of the monks. To wean them 
from absorption in agricultural pursuits,^ they laboured to 
impress on them the importance of learning, and by 
appointmg to the monasteries abbots who had been trained 
in the schools founded and watched over by Alcuin, an 
impulse was given to learning which made the monasteries 
of S. Gall, Fulda, and in later times Corbey and others,, 
famous nurseries of science and book knowledge. 

But to return to the main outline of the life of this great 
instigator of all the reforms wrought by Charlemagne, 
whose influence on the condition of the Church in 
that and the succeeding reigns can hardly be over 

It is probable that Alcuin attended Charlemagne in 
many of his expeditions ; he lost no opportunity in making 
his influence with the king subservient to the interests of 

May 19.] B. Alcuin. 273 

his native country; and after remaining about eight years 
in France, he resolved to return to York. Charlemagne 
exacted from him a promise that he would return speedily, 
and make the court of France his lasting-home ; a promise 
Alcuin was not unwilling to give, for he saw that God had 
given him a mighty work to accomplish, and that he dare 
not withdraw from it. 

" Although," said he, ** I possess no small inheritance in 
my own country, I will willingly resign it, and in poverty 
serve thee, and remain with thee; let it be thy care to 
obtain the permission of my king and my bishop." 

Alcuin came to England in the year 790, as ambassador 
from Charlemagne to King Offa, to arrange some mis- 
imderstanding which had arisen between the two great 
monarchs, and it appears to have been his intention to 
return the same year. But he found the kingdom of 
Northumbria involved in troubles ; and in a letter written 
at this period, he laments that he should not be able to 
return to France at the time he expected. It was not till 
792 that, pressed by the letters of Charlemagne, who 
desired his assistance in repressing a heresy which threat- 
ened to cause a division in the Frank Church, Alcuin left 
England for the last time, with the permission of Bishop 
Eanbald and King Ethelred. He took with him a 
number of English ecclesiastics, who were afterwards 
present at the council held in 794, at Frankfort-on-the 
Maine, where the doctrinal innovations of Felix of Urgel 
and Elipandus of Toledo, who taught that Christ was the 
Son of God by adoption, were condemned. From 792 
to 796 Alcuin continued to reside at the court of Charle- 
magne, in the same relation to his patron as before his 
visit to England. His position was rendered agreeable 
not only by the favour of the royal family, but by being 
in the society of the most learned and enlightened men 0^ 

vou V, J 8 

274 Lives of the Saints. [Mayxg. 

his time. Yet his happiness was frequently clouded by grief 
at the troubles with which his native country was visited, 
and of which he heard from his Northumbrian friends. In 
793, the Norsemen, devastated the island of Lindisfarne, 
profaned its church, and murdered several of the monks. 
This calamity, which Alcuin made the subject of one of the 
best of his poems, is alluded to in several of his letters, and 
appears to have afforded him keen distress, as well it might, 
for Lindisfame was the ancient Christian metropolis of the 
North of England, endeared by the memory of S. Cuthbert^ 
S. Aidan, and many another illustrious saint 

During the years which preceded a.d. 796, Charlemagne 
had been occupied in wars against the Saxons and Hims, 
and in that year, having reduced both these nations to his 
obedience, his mind was occupied with measures for the 
propagation of Christianity among the latter people. He 
consulted Alcuin, who, in an interesting letter, congratu- 
lated him on his conquests, and advised him to proceed 
with mildness rather than harshness in the work of con- 
version. Alcum's liberality of sentiment is remarkably 
conspicuous in this letter ; he recommends the king in the 
first place to select with care the missionaries whom he is 
about to send amongst them, and to avoid burdening the 
converts by the imposition of heavy rates for the support of 
the Church. He warns him against the immediate ex- 
action of tithes, and entreats him to consider that a tax 
which established Christians reluctantly consented to pay, 
would prove intolerable to new converts, and might em- 
bitter the people against the religion of Christ 

The correspondence of Alcuin during the year 796 is 
unusually interesting, and exhibits his intelligent mind in a 
new light Among the scholars at the court of Charle- 
magne it was a custom, not unknown in other times, of 
(taking literary names and surnames. • In this learned 

Ma) 19] B. Alcuin. 275 

nomenclature Alcuin himself took the name of Flaccus 
Albinus, which in after ages was frequently appended to 
his writings ; the common name whereby Charlemagne was 
'designated was David; among Alcuin's more immediate 
friends, Riculf, archbishop of Mainz, was addressed as 
Damoetas; the name of Amo was changed into Aquila, 
•and to Angilbert was given the name of Homer. 

At last, at the age of sixty, Alcuin resolved to leave the 
court, and spend the rest of his days in seclusion. He 
determined to return to his native country, and repose for 
the remainder of his life in the cloister of the monastery of 
York. He had already made preparations for his de- 
parture, and was entrusted with rich presents for King 
Oflfa, when the intelligence of new troubles in the kingdom 
of Northumbria, and of the murder of King Ethelred, 
diverted him from his project. " I was prepared with gifts 
of King Charles to visit you, and to return to my country," 
he wrote to Offa; "but I have thought it better on account 
of the peace of my people to remain in pilgrimage, not 
knowing what I should do amongst those with whom no one 
can be secure, and who cannot profit by healthful counsel.'* 

From this moment Alcuin resolved to spend the re- 
mainder of his life in the Frankish empire ; but persisting 
in his intention of living in solitude, he demanded the 
permission of his royal patron to retire to Fulda. Charles 
was unwilling to lose the society of his favourite instructor 
and adviser, and refused his consent ; but shortly after- 
wards he gave him the abbey of S. Martin, at Tours, which 
had become vacant by the opportune death of the abbot 
Itherius, with permission to spend as much of his time as 
he liked within the walls of that monastic house. Alcuin^s 
mode of life at Tours was one rather of splendid retire- 
ment than of pure renunciation of the world. His theo- 
logical opponent, Elipandus, blamed him for his enormous 

276 Lives 0/ the Saints. [May 19. 

wealth. ' Though he seldom quitted his monastery, he 
continued still to be the favourite counsellor of the king,, 
who in cases of emergency went to consult him at Tours. 
The monastic school which Alcuin established there,, 
produced some of the most remarkable scholars of the 
following age. He sent a mission to England to procure 
books for its library, and it was there that he composed 
most of his writings. 

In 803 the quarrel between himself and Bishop Theodulf 
of Orleans, already mentioned, led to a temporary estrange- 
ment between himself and Charlemagne. 

Alcuin died at Tours, on Whit-Sunday, the 19th of May,. 
8 ©4, and was buried with great pomp in the church of 
S. Martin. In the Lyceum at Bamberg is preserved a Bible 
written by the hand of Alcuin for Charlemagne. 


(a.d. 968.) 

[Sarum and York Kalendars. Roman Martyrology and modern 
Anglican Kalendar. Also in some Martyrologies on Sept. 7. Autho- 
rities : — A life by Bridferth the priest, a contemporary and eye-witness of 
much that he describes. He died about 98^. Secondly, a life by Eadmer 
{d. 1 124) ; thirdly, one by Osbern, monk of Canterbury, written shortly 
after 1070 ; and fourthly, a hfe by Osbert, a monk, in the lath cent,, of 
which only fragments exist. In addition to these are notices in the early 
Chroniclers of England, as the Saxon Chronicle, the Chronicle of Henry 
of Huntingdon, William of Malmesbury, &c.J 

S. DuNSTAN was bom in the first year of King Athelstan, 
in 925, if we may trust the Saxon chronicle, near Glaston- 
bury, where his father, Heorstan, was a great Thane. His 
mother's name was Cynethrith. He was sent as a boy to 
the famous abbey of Glastonbury to be instructed. There 
he was attacked with brain fever, which made him so noisy 
in the dormitory that he was given into the charge of a 

May 19.] S. DuftStaU. ' ^11 

woman to nurse him. Oae night he started out of his bed 
and ran out, beating the air as if he were driving off savage 
•dogs, rushed up a spiral staircase that led to the roof of the 
church, ran out on the lead, and was seen balancing himself 
-on the sharp ridge. After a while he came down and 
entered the church, where he dropped into a refreshing 
sleep, and next morning when he awoke had no remem- 
brance of his nocturnal exploit 

Alter a while he was introduced to the court of King 
Athelstan, where he did not stay long, as he made some 
•enemies there. Indeed, his fellow pages, probably jealous 
of the favour with which he was regarded by the king, 
ducked him in a horse-pond, and set the dogs on him, 
when he crawled out covered with mud. At court he fell 
desperately in love with a beautiful and amiable girl, and 
wished to marry her, but his kinsman, Alphege the Bald, 
Bishop of Winchester, urged him to elect the life of self- 
renunciation, and to became a monk. Dunstan sharply 
answered that he preferred a pretty young wife, and her 
loving society to the woollen {bidentenus) smock of a monk. 
Not long after Dunstan was afilicted with a violent eruption 
over his body, which was intolerably irritating, and made 
' him fear for his life. Then he resolved to renounce the idea 
of marriage, and to become a monk. And he went to his 
kinsman Alphege. Now one day Bishop Alphege was 
dedicating the church of S. Gregory that had been newly 
built in the city of Winchester, and towards evening, ere he 
went away, the bishop said to Dunstan, '' The hour of com- 
pline is come, say the office with me in the church." So 
they went in both together, and after the first versicles they 
put their heads together for their mutual confession,^ and 
then separated them for the absolution. And just at that 

1 **Jaagente8 capita sua in nnumi quo confessiones snas 8olitaconsaetaUin« 
■▼icesslin pToderent.' 


^yS Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

moment down came a great stone between their heads, 
brushing the hair of each, but doing no harm to either. 
We should say that the masons had not done their work in 
the new church as thoroughly as might be. Birdferth the 
biographer says that evidently the devil had thrown it at 
Dunstan, but missed his aim. 

At Glastonbury he made the acquaintance of S. Ethel- 
fleda (April 13) who lived near the church and was old and 
infirm. Another lady of his acquaintance was a noble 
matron named Ethelbyra, who used to do needlework for- 
the church and its ministers. Dunstan, who was skilful 
with his brush, painted a stole, and then took it to her to- 
fill in with silk and precious stones ; and as she was fpnd 
of music, and he was a skilful musician, he took with him 
his harp to sing and play to her whilst she embroidered his 
stole. But after dinner he hung up his harp against the- 
wall, near the open window, as the lady was obliged to- 
attend to her servants ; and, to every one's astonishment, 
the harp played faint chiming chords of seolian music.^ 
This astonished all, who looked upon the circumstance as 
a prestige of the future greatness and sanctity of the harper. 
The sound was, in fact, drawn out by the current of air 


setting the strings in vibration, as in the beautiful toy, the- 
seolian harp. 

Dunstan occupied his monastic life at Glastonbury in 
acquiring all the learning of the time, and he devoted him- 
self as well to various arts useful for the service of the- 
Church as music and painting, and he became especiall/ 
skilful as a metal-worker. A MS. illuminated by his hand' 
still exists in the British Museum. On the death of King 
Athelstan, Edmund the Magnificent, his brother, was elected 
king ; and he recalled Dunstan to court. The saint went, 

^ The imagination of the hearers led them to detect in the harp music the 
melody of a well-known antiphon. 

Mayig.] 61 Diiftstan. 279 

but again got into trouble with the courtiers and the king 
through the severity of his virtue, and was obliged to leave. 
One day, almost immediately after, the king was hunting a 
stag on the Cheddar (Ceoddir) hills, when the hart rushed 
to the edge of the rock and plunged over the precipice. 
The king was galloping with relaxed rein, and saw instantly 
his peril. "God help me, and I will bring Dunstan back!" 
and he drew in the rein. The horse rose in the air on its 
hind legs, and reeled back, and the king was saved. He 
instantly recalled Dunstan and said to him, "Quick, saddle 
your nag, and accompany me." Dunstan obeyed, wonder- 
ing much at this change in the king's mood, and Edmund 
led the way in the direction of Glastonbury. After they 
had reached the abbey, Edmund entered the church and 
prayed; then rising, he took Dunstan's hand, and leading 
him into the abbatial chair, seated him, and said, " Be 
thou the possessor and staunch defender of this throne, and 
whatever thou findest deficient for the conduct of Divine 
worship, I will supply out of my treasury." 

This was in 943, and if we are to believe the date of his 
birth given by the Saxon Chronicle, and confirmed by Bird- 
ferth, he can only have been eighteen at the time Edmund 
died by the hand of Liofa at Pucklechurch in 946. The 
body of the murdered king was brought to Glastonbury, 
and was there buried by Abbot Dunstan. 

King Edmund left two sons, Edwy and Edgar, but as 
they were very young, his brother Edred was chosen to 
succeed him. Edred was crowned at Kingston by Arch- 
bishop Oda, and was acknowledged by the Northumbrians, 
who, however, revolted in 948 or thereabouts, and chose 
Eric, son of Harold Blue-tooth, king of Denmark, to be 
their king. Edred marched against them and defeated 
them. During the war Dunstan persuaded him to send his 
treasures to Glastonbury to be under the care of the monks. 

28o Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

On the death of Ethelgar, bishop of Crediton in Devon, 
the king urged Dunstan to accept the vacant see, but he 
steadily refused. Edred died at Frome in 955, and was 
buried at Winchester. He was succeeded by Eadwig, or 
Edwy, the eldest son of King Edmund. He was still very 
young, only sixteen. His reign, like those of his ^ther and 
uncle, was very short, and, unlike theirs, it was also very 

It is difficult to arrive at the truth of the events that 
occurred in the reign of Eling Edwy, both because the 
Saxon Chronicle is very short, and because all other accounts 
contradict one another so that one hardly knows what to 
believe. For S. Dunstan had by this time taken a very 
decided line, and this made two great parties in the Church 
and in the country generally ; one favoured his scheme of 
reform, and the other as vehemently opposed it. And as 
historians favoured one or other side, so is their history 
coloured. Edwy was the enemy of Dunstan; therefore the 
admirers of Dunstan have tried to make out Edwy as bad 
as possible. On the other hand, most modem writers have 
a prejudice against S. Dunstan, and tiy to make the best of 
Edwy, and the worst of S. Dunstan. If the Saxon Chronicle 
gave us a full account we should know better what to believe. 
But as it is we must put the story together as well as we can 
by comparing the different accounts. The Chronicle does 
not tell us any harm of Edwy, and Ethelwerd and Henry of 
Huntingdon give him a good character, and lament his early 
death. On the other hand it is certain that he drove S. 
Dunstan out of the kingdom. Now when we see how well 
things went on both under Edred, and afterwards under 
Edgar, when S. Dunstan was again in power, and how badly 
they went on under Edwy, we shall think that Edwy did a 
very injudicious as well as blameworthy act in driving S. 
Dunstan away. Dunstan was unquestionably a great and 

May 19.] S. Dunstan. 281 

wise minister, but it was very natural for several reasons 
that Edwy should dislike him. 

S. Dunstan's great object was the reformation of the 
Church. Among the Anglo-Saxon clergy, before S. Dunstan, 
marriage was rather the rule, celibacy the exception. The 
clergy attached to the cathedrals lived under a kind of 
canonical rule, but were almost universally married. In 
the richer conventuaLfoundations, ruled mostly by noble and 
warlike abbots, and noble abbesses, they took no vow of 
chastity; they married or remained unmarried at their wilL^ 
The only true monks were the Benedictines, who had been 
introduced by S. Wilfred They were chiefly in the northern 
kingdoms, but throughout England their monasteries had 
been mercilessly wasted by the Danes ; a white cowl was 
as rare as a ghost When Dunstan began his career there 
were true monks only at Abingdon and Glastonbury. These 
things S. Dunstan and Bishop Ethelwald, of Winchester, 
and others who acted with them, set themselves heartily to 
reform. And besides, Dunstan was very anxious to get all 
the cathedrals and other great churches into the hands of 
monks instead of secular priests of any kind, whether 
married or not This he succeeded in doing afterwards, 
under King Edgar, to a very great extent 

Now it could not but happen that different men* should 
think very differently about changes like these. King Edred 
had been S. Dunstan's friend throughout, and had supported 
him in effecting his reform; but King Edwy took the otha: 
side. He does not appear to have been at all an enemy of 
the Church or a robber of monasteries, as *some have made 
him out, for he was a benefactor of the churches both of 

1 "Monasteria nempe Angliae ante Refonnatlonein a Dunstano et Edgaro 
Tege institutam, tottdem erant conventus clericorum saecularium ; qui amplissimis 
possessionibuft dotati et certis sibi invicem regulis astricti, oflicia sua in ecdesiis 
<luotidie frequentarunt ; omnibus interim aliorum clericorum privilegils, atque 
Ipsa uxores ducendi liceDtiagattdebant."«— WhatTton, Anglia Satra, f. p. stS. 

282 Lives of the Saints. [Mayi^ 

Abingdon and Glastonbury. But he did not like S. Dun- 

Stan, and did not approve of his schemes. So far from 

turning out secular priests to put in monks, he seems to 

have sometimes intruded secular priests into churches where 

there had always been monks. William of Malmesbury 

bitterly complains that secular priests were put into his own 

church at Malmesbury, making it what he calls "a stable 

of clerks," as if secular priests were no better than beasts. 

It is no wonder then that we find the whole history both of 

Edwy and Edgar perverted by party spirit. S. Dunstan's 

friends make out all the ill they can against Edwy, and S. 

Dunstan's enemies all the ill they can against Edgar. Hence 

both Edwy and Edgar are charged with crimes which most 

likely neither of them ever committed. As far as can be 

made out, it is most likely that Edwy, before he was chosen 

king, or directly after, married, or took to live with him — ^it 

is impossible to decide which — z. beautiful young girl named 

Elgiva. She was so near of kin to him that according to 

the laws pf the Church he could not lawfully marry her. 

Anyhow, this union caused great scandal and offence. 

Now on the very day of the coronation of Edwy, during 

the banquet, the king left the hall where were his nobles, 

bishops, and aldermen, and went into another room to visit 

his wife and her mother. This was resented by the guests 

as an insult, and they were very angry. S. Dunstan rose 

from his seat, and with the Bishop ot London, pursued the 

king into the apartment of his wife, and insisted on his 

return. We may well believe that much strong language 

was used on both sides, and that neither Edwy nor Elgiva 

ever forgave S. Dunstan. It so happened that a party of 

the monks at Glastonbury were displeased at the changes. 

effected by their abbot, and complained to the king. f 

Edwy caught at the opportunity, and either in 956 or 95 7^ 

S. Dunstan was driven out of the kingdom and took refuge 

in Flanders. 

May 19.] S. Dunstan. 283 

Now, either by the banishment of Dunstan, or his way 
of governing in general, Edwy gave great offence to his 
subjects. In 957 Mercia and all England north of the 
Thames revolted, and chose Edgar, the brother of Edwy, ta 
be king. Edgar, king of the Mercians, as he is now called, 
at once sent for S. Dunstan to come to him, and pre- 
sently gave him the bishopric of Worcester, and afterwards 
that of London. S. Dunstan held both these bishoprics at 
once, a thing clearly against the laws of the Church, and 
only perhaps justified by the necessities of the time. The 
next year, 958, Archbishop Oda, acting in concert with S. 
Dunstan, forced Edwy to separate from Elgiva. This we 
know from the Saxon Chronicle, and it looks very much 
as if the intercourse between the king of Elgiva was such 
as very generally to outrage the public sense of decency, 
so that Wessex was getting discontented as well as Mercia, 
and the only resource for Edwy, if he hoped to retain his 
crown, was to surrender Elgiva. It is difficult to decide 
what happened next. All we know for certain is that 
Archbishop Oda died the same year that he divorced 
Elgiva, and that Edwy died the year after, 959. But there 
are all sorts of stories, told by later writers, too readily 
accepted as true by prejudiced modern historians, which 
are so utterly contradictory and so confused as to their 
dates, that we may hope they are false. Some woman 
or other, by whom they mean Elgiva, was killed by the 
Mercians in their revolt; according to another accouirt, 
Archbishop Oda had her branded in the face with a rd V 
hot iron to destroy her seductive beauty, and then banished 
her to Ireland; and when she ventured to come back, 
Oda*s men caught her at Gloucester, and cut the sinews of 
her legs, so that she died in this horrible way. Now it is 
clear that Elgiva could not have been killed in the revolt of 
Mercia, because she was divorced afterwards, and the other 

284 Lives of the Saints, [May 19, 

dreadful tale rests on no contemporary authority.^ Some 
say that Edwy was killed, but this is uncertain. Anyhow 
he died in 959, and was buried at Winchester. 

On the death of Edwy, his brother Edgar, king of the 
Mercians, was chosen king by the whole nation, and he 
reigned over the West Saxons, Mercians, and Northum- 
brians. He was only sixteen years old when he was 
elected king. 

It is almost as hard to write about Edgar as about his 
brother, because the accounts which we have of him are 
very contradictory. The earliest and best writers glorify 
him as the best and greatest of kings; the Saxon Chro- 
nicle can hardly speak of him without bursting forth into 
poetry. On the other hand there is no king about whom 
there are more stories to his discredit. Here we can see 
party spirit There is no doubt that under Edgar England 
was wonderfully prosperous and wonderfully peaceful. 
His chief adviser was S. Dunstan, and he was the great 
friend of the monks. This was enough to make one side 
call him everything that was good, and the other side 
call him everything that was bad. Most likely he was 
neither so good nor so bad as he is pictured. But 
the prosperity of his reign is certain, while the crimes 
attributed to him are very doubtful. They come mostly 
from stories in William of Malmesbury, who allows that he 
got them from popular ballads, the most untrustworthy of 
all sources of history; but some are on better authority.* 
Archbishop Oda died a little time before King Edwy, and 
in his place Elfsine, bishop of Winchester, was appointed. 
But Elfsine set out to Rome to get his pall from the pope, 
and died of cold in crossing the Alps. In 959, the first 

1 It is first told by Osbern, who wrote abont 1070. 

* As Osbem, who relates the story of the outraged nun, for which S. Dunstan 
f ttt the king to penance. 

• May 19.] S. Duns tan. 285 

year of King Edgar, Dunstan was chosen to the arch- 
bishopric of Canterbury,^ and the next year he went to 
Rome and got his pall from Pope John XII. For 
the time Dunstan had all his own way, and he and 
Ethelwald, bishop of Winchester, Oswald, bishop of Wor- 
cester, and others of their party, turned the secular priests 
out of many of the chief churches of England, and put in 
monks. Dunstan was the king's chief adviser, and the 
laws of Edgar, his strict government, the peace and pros- 
perity of England under him, and his authority over all the 
other princes of Britain, speak for themselves, and we can- 
not doubt the wisdom and prudence of the great counsellor. 

That the cares of office in Church and State did not 
prevent S. Dunstan from cultivating his darling art of 
music appears from a pretty story told by his biographer. 
OfP^ night the archbishop dreamt that he was at a royal 
wedding feast, and was listening to the song of the 
minstrels, when one of the harpers, a youth in white 
raiment, came to him, and asked why he did not join in 
the nuptial hymn. " Because I know not the words and 
the strain," said the sleeper. Then the young harper 
played and sang to him, "O Rex gentium dominator 
omnium, propter sedem Majestatis tuse da nobis indul- 
gentiam, Rex Christe, peccatorum, Alleluia." On awaking 
he repeated to himself the words and music, and calling 
together the singers of Canterbury, taught them the anti- 
phon, and committed it to writing, lest it sHould be for- 
gotten. Nor did he forget his monks at Glastonbury, but 
visited them and knew each personally, and not they only, 
but all the little scholars in the monastery school. 

One day Dunstan was at Bath, which he visited yearly 

1 On the day that he said mass for the first time in Canterbury Cathedral, a 
white dove appeared fluttering over his head. The bird afterwards perched on 
Bishop Odo's tomb. 

286 Lives of the Saints. tMayi^ 

for the sake of the hot springs. After dinner, falling into 
an abstracted mood, he saw one of the little boys of 
Glastonbury borne heavenward by angels. A day or two 
after a monk from Glastonbury came to Bath to see 
Dunstan. "How are all the brethren?" asked the abbot 
^*A11 are well,'' answered the monk. "What all?" again 
asked Dunstan. "All but one little fellow, a boy who is 
dead." " God rest his happy spirit," said S. Dunstan ; " I 
have seen him borne by angels to everlasting peace." 

Now Dunstan was the friend and counsellor of the king, 
whom he probably loved. But Edgar, if an excellent 
administrator of the laws, was not a man of peculiarly 
virtuous life. Some of the stories told of him are most 
probably false, but others must be true. Osbern, the 
biographer of S. Dunstan, says that the king had been 
guilty of a great crime. He had dishonoured a ^BW- 
Shortly after, Dunstan came into his presence. The«.ing,. 
as usual, extended his hand to him, but the archbishop, 
with flashing eye, folded his arms, and turned abruptly 
away, exclaiming, " I am no friend to the enemy of Christ" 
The king, awed, threw himself at his feet Then S. 
Dunstan bitterly reproached him, and he saw that Edgar 
was moved to true contrition, he laid on him a penance, 
that for seven years he was not to wear his crown, and 
was to fast twice in the week. 

He was determined to enforce the celibacy of the 
clergy, and his efforts drew on him bitter hatred. " Let 
them live canonically or go out of the Church," said he. 
A gathering of both parties was held at Calne, in a large 
hall. The opposition was headed by a Scottish bishop 
called Heornei, or Bernal.^ After a long altercation, 
Dunstan, now very aged, exclaimed, "We have wasted 

* Hector Boece calls him Fothadh, and pretends that he obtained the victory 
over S. Dunstan. 

May 19.] S. Dtmstait. 287 

much tijae in endless dispute; I confess I cannot force 
you to obedience. But I appeal to Christ, to His judg- 
ment I commit the cause of His Church/' Scarcely had 
he said the words than, with a crash, a portion of the roof 
fell on his opponents, and they escaped from the ruins 
bruised and with broken bones. 

On the death of King Edgar, before another king could 
be chosen, there was a great movement against the monks. 
Elthere, alderman of the Mercians, and others, began to 
turn the monks out of several churches, and to bring back 
ahe secular canons with their wives. But Ethelwin, alder- 
man of the East- Angles, whom men called " the Friend of 
God," gathered a meeting of the wise-men of his own earl- 
'dom, and they determined to keep the monks, and they 
joined with Brithnorth, alderman of the East-Saxons, and 
assembled an army to defend the monasteries. Mean- 
-while there was a dispute who should be king. Both the 
50ns of Edgar were very young ; Ethelred was about seven,' 
Edward about thirteen. Of the two it was most natural 
to choose Edward, and King Edgar, before he died, had 
said that he wished it to be so. But some were in favour 
of Ethelred. An assembly was called for the election of a 
king. Then Dunstan took his cross, and leading Edward 
into the midst of the assembly, stood and demanded the 
throne for him. All bowed to the authority, and Edward 
was consecrated by the archbishop, in 975. The story of 
Ills death has been already told (March i8th.) When 
Dunstan was called to crown Ethelred, in 979, as he 
placed the golden circle on the boy's brow, he said, if we 
may trust Osbem, '^ Since thou hast attained the kingdom 
through the death of thy brother, whom thy mother hath 
•shamefully slain, the sword shall never depart from thy 
house, till it hath cut it off, and the crown shall pass to 
•one of another race and language." 

288 Lives of the Saints. rMayig^ 

On the feast of the Ascension, in the year 968, S. Dun- 
stan sang mass and preached to the people with singular 
unction. After he had returned to the altar to complete 
the sacrifice, he turned to give the benediction, and then 
again he addressed the people, and announced to them, 
that he was about to die. After the conclusion of mass, he 
went to JEhe refectory and dined, then returned to the 
church and pointed out the place where he desired to be- 
laid. Three days after, he was no more. 

In Art S. Dunstan is chiefly honoured by a foolish repre- 
sentation of the devil caught by the nose by a pair of 
blacksmith's pincers. The legend relates that Satan 
tempted him as he was at work at his forge, by assuming 
the form of a beautiful girl. Dunstan at once attacked him. 
with his pincers and put him to flight 

{a.d. 1296.) 

[Canonized by Clement V., in 131 3. Authorities : — His early life was^ 
written by himself. A metrical life by his contemporary, James Cardinal of 
S. George, another metrical account of the election and coronation of 
Boniface VIII., a metrical account of the canonization of Peter Celestine,. 
both by the same Cardinal of S. George. A prose life compiled from the 
above and other contemporary accounts by Peter de Alliaco (d. 1495). 
Also Ptolemy de Lucca or de Fiadonibus (1327) in his Annals, and Historia 
Ecclesiastica. Ptolemy was a witness of several of the events in the brief 
reign of this pope.] 

" The names of my parents were Angelerius and Maria," 
says S. Peter, " they were just before God, as I trust, and 
were praised among men; simple and upright, and fearing 
God ; humble and peaceable, not rendering evil for evU ; 
but giving alms and showing hospitality to the poor. After 
the similitude of the patriarch Jacob, they begat twelve 

May 29.1 S. Peter Celestine* 289 

sons, and even they asked of God, that one of them might 
be his true servant." The childhood of Peter, one of these 
sons, was full of visions and marvels, which all tended to 
foster his desire of leading a solitary and religious life. 
Yet he was retarded by fear. He thought that a hermit's 
life in a lone place must be fearful at night, and he 
shuddered at the prospect of dreams, and weird sights and 
sounds, far from the dwellings of men. He was twenty 
before he mastered this fear, and then he set out with a 
companion, somewhat older than himself. They had not 
gone far along a mountainous road, before his comrade 
changed his mind, and deserted him. Peter pursued his 
way till he came to a bridge ; the night was falling, the wind 
moaned and filled the young man with alarm. But pluck- 
ing up his courage, he ran across the bridge, and entering a 
chapel at the end of it, dedicated to S. Nicolas, implored 
courage to overcome his natural timidity. Near this 
chapel, in a solitary place among the rocks, he heard there 
was an ancient abandoned hermitage. It was then winter, 
and great snow-flakes fell and drifted and rushed in eddies 
about the mountain side. Two peasant women, com- 
passionating the young man, endeavoured to dissuade him 
from seeking the hermitage, but he resisted their kindly 
intentions and persevered. He found the hermitage empty, 
save for the snow which had been swept in. He 
entered, and cast himself on the ground, hugging two loaves 
he had bought and brought with him. In the night he 
was solaced with visions of angels showering red roses 
about him. But after a few days he found a large rock, and 
he burrowed beneath it, and made himself a cell, in which 
he could not stand upright, and in this he spent three 
years, among toads, lizards, and scorpions. Sometimes 
when he slept toads would creep into his bosom, and when 
he awoke, he shook them out, by loosing his belt. " And," 
VOL. V. 19 

290 Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

says the historian, " when he saw them spitting at his fee^ 
he knew they were toads." 

After three years spent in this miserable hole, he went 
to Monte Moroni, and found a cave there in which he took 
up his abode, and at this time he was ordained priest, that 
he might minister to those who gathered aroimd him as his 
disciples, or came on pilgrimages to consult him. But he 
soon wearied of this new retreat, and not liking his com- 
panions, he fled away and found a spacious cavern among 
the rocks of Monte Magella, in whose curved sides echoed 
the merry bells of a distant church, to his no small wonder. 
He was soon discovered and followed by his disciples, and 
they planted green bushes before the yawning mouth of the 
cave, and found it right pleasant there on a burning sum- 
mer's day to see the light come in green and cool through 
the leaves, and listen to the echo of the distant bells. 
And near to the cave they erected a little chapel, on a 
ledge where they noticed a dove loved to rest, and in the 
chapel they placed an altar, where the hermit priest said 
his mass daily. The chapel was of logs and rudely built, 
but it was the gate of heaven to many who worshipped 
there. And when Peter Moroni turned at the altar to 
give benediction, through the rude door he saw a pleasant 
sunny picture, a grassy foreground sprinkled with hare- 
bells quivering in the mountain air, bold precipices, their 
mossy ledges blue with gentian, and ancient pines clinging 
to the rock and balancing themselves above a gorge. But 
in winter the scene was changed. The rocks were glazed 
with frozen streams, the rents in the mountain sides choked 
with snow, and the wind heaped the white drifts about the 
cavern, and penetrated to the interior, freezing the brothers, 
so that some lost their fingers, and one lost both hands 
through frost-bite and subsequent mortification. 

But a change was to take place in the life of Peter 

May 19. J S. Peter Celestine. 291 

Moroni for which he was quite unprepared, so unexpected 
was it. 

Rome was torn by factions. The Orsini and tlie 
Colonnas were at . the head of two powerful opposed 
parties. Pope Nicolas IV. had closed his short pontificate 
in disaster, shame and unpopularity. The total loss of the 
last Christian possessions in the East, the fatal and igiio- 
minious close of the Crusades, the disgrace thereby whicli 
was supposed to have fallen on all Christendom, but with 
especial weight on its head, bowed Nicolas down in shamd 
and sorrow. Italy was a prey to civil war, and the pope 
had become enslaved to the Colonnas and favoured their 
schemes of aggrandizement. There were acts in these 
terrible wars that raged in almost every part of Italy, which 
might have grieved the heart of a wise and humane pontiff 
more than the loss of the Holy Land. The mercy ot 
Christendom might seem at a lower ebb than its valour, 
Nicolas is said to have died in sorrow and humiliation ; he 
died accused by the Guelphs of unpapal Ghibellinisni, still 
more on account of his favour to the Colonnas, Ghibelline 
by descent and by tradition, and hereafter to become more 
obstinately, furiously, and fatally Ghibelline in their im- 
placable feud with Boniface VIII.^ 

Nicolas IV. died on the 4th of April, 1292. Only 
twelve cardinals met to form the conclave for the election 
of his successor. Six of these cardinals were Romans, of 
tfiese two were Orsini, and two were Colonnas; four 
Italians ; two French. Each of the twelve might aspire to 
the supreme dignity. The Romans prevailed in numbers, 
but were separated by implacable hostility; on one side 
stood the Orsini, on the other the Colonnas. Three 

^Guelph and Ghibelline were names given to the papal and the Imperial 
factions whose conflicts destroyed the peace of Italy from the X2th to the end of 
the z^th century. 

^92 Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

.times they met without being able to come to an election* 
The heats of June, and a dangerous fever, drove them out 
of Home; and Rome became such a scene of disorder^ 
feud, and 4nurder, that they dared not re-assemble within 
the walls. Two rival senators, an Orsini and a Colonna, 
were at the head of the two factions. Above a year had 
elapsed, when the conclave agreed to meet again at 
Perugia. The contest lasted eight months longer. Charles^ 
king of Naples, came to Perugia to "overawe the conclave 
by his personal presence. No one of the cardinals would 
yield his post to his adversary ; yet all seemed resolute to 
confine the nomination to their own body. 

Matters had come to a dead loc!<, when a sudden and 
tmexpected mode of solving the difficulty was proposed 
and readily accepted by all as a means of disappointing 
the opposite faction, if not of satisfying their own. Latino 
Malebranca, cardinal of Ostia, designedly, or accidentally^ 
spoke of the wonderful virtues of the hermit Peter Moroni ; 
the weary conclave listened with interest. It was in that 
perplexed and exhausted state, when men seize desperately 
on any strange counsel to extricate themselves from their 
difficulty. Peter Moroni was unanimously elected to fill 
the Chair of S. Peter. The fatal sentence was hardly 
uttered when the brief unanimity ceased. Some of the 
cardinals began to repent or be ashamed of their precipi- 
tate decree. No one of them would undertake the office 
of bearing the tidings of his elevation to the pope. The 
deputation consisted of the archbishop of Lyons, two 
bishops, and two notaries of the court 

The place of Moroni's retreat was a cave in a wild 
mountain, above the pleasant valley of Sulmona. The 
ambassadors of the conclave with difficulty found guides to 
conduct them to the solitude. As they toiled up the 
rocks, they were overtaken by Cardinal Colonna, who had 

JviayiQ.] S. Peter Celestine. 293 

"Come to take advantage of any opportunity that might 
present itself of influencing the simple-minded pope to 
favour his interests and those of his family and faction. 
The ambassadors found an old man with long shaggy 
beard, sunken eyes, overhung with heavy brows, and lids 
•swollen with perpetual weeping, pale, hollow cheeks, and 
limbs meagre with fasting. They fell on their knees before him, 
and Peter Moroni, the hermit, saw an archbishop, a 
cardinal, and two bishops, prostrate before him, hailing him 
as head of the Church. He stared through the bars that 
closed his den, blank and bewildered, and thought it was 
a dream. But when he knew that all this was sober 
•earnest, his terror and reluctance knew no bounds, and he 
protested with tears his utter inability to cope with the 
affairs, and to administer the sacred trust, that had thus 
unexpectedly devolved upon him. 

The hermit in vain tried to escape; he was brought back 
with respectful forcQ, and guarded with reverential vigilance. 

The king of Naples, accompanied by his son, hastened 
to do honour to his holy subject, and secure him as an 
useful ally. The hermit-pope was conducted from his 
lowly cave to the monastery of Santo Spirito, at the foot 
«of the mountain. Over hi^ shaggy sackcloth the hermit 
put on the gorgeous attire of the pontiff, and followed by 
a train of his brother hermits, he entered the city of Aquila 
Tiding on an ass, with a king on each side of him to hold 
his bridle. 

If there had been more splendid, never was there so 
popular an election. Two hundred thousand spectators, 
(of whom the historian, Ptolemy of Lucca, was one), 
•crowded the streets. In the evening the pope was com- 
pelled again and again to come to the window to bestow 
his benediction on the enthusiastic crowd. 

But already the cardinals might gravely reflect on their 

294 Lives of the Saints. [Mayig^ 

strange election. Peter refused to go to Perugia, and evea 
to Rome, and they declined to accompany him to Naples, 
whither King Charles for state policy was bent on drawing 
him. Two only, Hugh of Auvergne, and Napoleoa 
Orsini, accompanied him to Aquila. But the way in 
which the pope began to use his vast powers still more 
appalled and offended them. He bestowed the ofhces 
in his court and about his person on rude Abruzzese 
hermits, whose virtues he knew, but who were unknown to 
political intrigue and party faction. High at once in his 
favour rose the French prelate, Hugh de Billiome, cardinal 
of S. Sabina, who had been the first to follow Malebranca 
in the acclamation of Pops Moroni. On the death of 
Malebranca,' Hugh was raised to the bishopric of Ostia and 
Velletri, and became dean of the College of Cardinals. 
Large pensions, charged on great abbeys in France, gilded 
his elevation, and the Frenchman seemed destined to rule 
with undivided sway over the feeble and simple old man. 
The Italians looked with undisguised jealousy and aversion 
on the foreign prelate, whose influence they dreaded. 

Cardinal Napolepn Orsini assisted at the inauguration^ 
gave to the pope the scarlet mantle, the mitre set with gold 
and jewels ; and it was he who announced to the people 
that Peter had taken the name of Ccelestine V. The foot 
of the lowly hermit was kissed by kings, cardinals, bishops^ 
nobles. The number of the clergy present caused singular 
astonishment The cardinals, though reluctant, would not 
allow the coronation to proceed without them. They 
came slowly and in unwilling haste. 

A few months showed that meekness, humility, holiness, 
unworldliness might make a saint, but they were not the 
virtues best calculated to adorn a pope at that period^ 
when intrigue, party-strife, and political entanglements^ 
needed a clear head, a firm will, and a resolute hand, to 

Mayx9.i S. Peter Celestine. 295 

guide the vessel of S. Peter. Coelestine V. was one swayed 
by his advisers rather than one capable of directing events. 
To Naples he had been led, as it were, in submissive 
triumph, by King Charles; he took up his abode in the 
royal palace, an unsuspecting prisoner, treated witli the 
most ostentatious veneration. So totally did the harmless 
Coelestine surrender himself to his royal protector, that he 
stubbornly refused to leave Naples. His utter incapacity 
for business soon appeared; he lavished offices, dignities, 
bishoprics, with profuse hand; he granted and revoked 
grants, bestowed benefices vacant, or about to be vacant. 
He was duped by the officers of his court, and gave the 
same benefices over and over again : but still the greater 
share fell to his brethren from the Abruzzi, and in this he 
acted wisely and well, for he knew these men to be faithful 
and pious. His officers issued orders of all kinds in his 
name. He shrank from publicity, loving retirement, and 
when he was required for the ceremonial duties of his 
office, the old man was found weary and weeping before 
the altar of his oratory. His weakness made him as 
prodigal of his power as of his gifts. At the dictation of 
King Charles he created at once thirteen new cardinals, 
thus outnumbering the actual conclave, all in the French 
and Neapolitan interest, thus disturbing or overthrowing 
the balance of parties in that assembly. Unsuspicious of 
the designs of the king, he re-enacted the conclave law of 
Gregory X., which required the Papal election to take place 
immediately on the death of a pope, and the complete 
seclusion of the cardinals till a successor was chosen. 
This King Charles was eager to see carried into effect, that 
on the death of Coelestine V., whom he was resolved to 
retain in Naples, the nomination of his successor might be 
under Neapolitan influence. 

The weary man became anxious to lay down the heavy 

296 Lives of the Saints. [May 19. 

burden his shoulders had never been fitted to bear. Two of 
his new cardinals were old Abruzzi companions, members 
of his congregation, and he appointed them that they might 
be his constant associates in the cell he had constructed in 
the palace, where they might fast and pray together. ' 

He issued a bull organizing the congregation of solitaries 
who had gathered around him in the mountains, into a 
religious Order, called after him Celestines, and he made 
them independent of episcopal authority, depending solely 
on the Apostolic see. He even attempted to reduce the whole 
Order of S. Benedict to his rule, and passing through Monte 
Cassino, he persuaded the abbot to abandon the black habit 
for that of his Order, which was grey. He sent fifty of his 
monks to Monte Cassino, appointed a superior from among 
them, and exiled those Benedictines who refused to submit 
to the change. The majority waited with submission till the 
end of his pontificate, when they reverted to their ancient 
rule. But a more serious mistake was his giving the Arch- 
bishopric of Leon, with the right to administer both the 
spiritualities and the temporalities, to Louis, second son of 
Charles, king of Naples, a youth aged twenty-one, who was 
not even in minor orders. 

On all sides rose murmurs, and none were more sensible of 
his incapacity to govern the Church than the humble old 
man who had been so suddenly elevated to this place of 
responsibility. Advent approached, and he could not 
endure the thought of that holy season being interrupted 
by the din of politics and the excitement of business. He 
drew out a bull empowering three cardinals to administer 
the affairs uf the Church during Advent^ intending to retire 
into his cell, shut the door, and be alone with God and his 
own heart But Cardinal Rossi Orsini, hearing of this, 
fortunately arrested the Pope's hand before the bull was 
signed and sealed, and warned him on no account to run 

May 19] S. Pctcr Celesttue, 297 

such a risk as to constitute three popes at a time. The old 
man submitted with a sad sigh. But now all his mind was 
bent on resignation of his office. To this he was urged by 
several of the cardinals, who assured him that his unfitness 
was ruining the Church and imperilling his own soul. "Oh 
wretched man that I am ! " cried the aged man, weeping, 
" They tell me that I have all power on earth over souls, 
and yet I cannot be sure of the salvation of my own. 
Why may I not cast off this burden, too heavy for me to 
bear? God asks of no man to perform impossibilities, and 
for this I am unfit. I see the cardinals divided; I hear 
complaints made against me on all sides. O that I might 
go back and rest in my solitude." 

So he made up his mind to abdicate. But such a pro- 
ceeding little accorded with the schemes of King Charles ; 
and he resolved to frustrate it by appealing to the conscience 
of the Pope. A solemn procession was appointed from 
the great church of Naples to the royal palace where the 
pope resided ; in it were many bishops and a great multi- 
tude of people. On their arrival before the windows of the 
Pope, the whole procession cried out for his benediction. 
Coelestine came to the window, then one of the bishops in 
the procession besought an audience on behalf of this great 
multitude. It was granted ; then falling on his knees he sup- 
plicated the Pope in the name of the king, the clergy, and 
all the people of Naples not to abandon them, but to remain 
their pastor, exercising the office wherewith he was entrusted 
by God. The Pope faltered, and gave his reluctant consent 
Then all broke into a joyful Te Deum^ and the procession 
returned to the cathedral. 

This was at the beginning of December, 1294. The 
king thought that the danger was overpassed. But on a 
sudden, on S. Lucy's day, the conclave was summoned. 
The Pope sat in his scarlet mantle, and with the tiara on 

298 Lives of the Saints. [Mavi(^, 

his head Suddenly he drew forth a written abdication^ 
and presented it to the cardinals. He alleged his age, his 
nide manners and ruder speech, his incapacity, his inex- 
perience, as causes of his abdication. He confessed humbly 
his manifold errors, and entreated the conclave to 
bestow upon Christendom a pastor not liable to so 
many infirmities. The conclave urged the Pope first, while 
his authority was yet full and above appeal, to issue a con- 
stitution declaring that a pope might at any time lay down 
his dignity, and that the cardinals were at liberty to receive 
that voluntary demission of the popedom. No sooner was 
this done than Coelestine retired ; he stripped oflf at once 
the cumbrous magnificence of his Papal robes, and with it 
seemed to lay aside the care that had weighed him down. 
Joyously the old man returned to the conclave in his coarse 
and ragged habit of brown serge ; and the cardinals were 
melted to tears at the sight. 

As soon as he could, the discrowned pope withdrew to his 
old mountain hermitage. He had occupied the Holy See 
five months and a few da)rs since his election, and since liis 
consecration three months and a half. His abdication, in 
his own time, was viewed in a different light by different 
minds. None could question his sanctity, his holy simplicity 
and angelic purity of aim, but men differed in their opinions 
as to the propriety of his resignation. The monastic 
writers held it up as the most perfect example of Christian 
perfection; but the scorn of men has been expressed in the 
undying verse of Dante, who condemned him who was guilty 
of the baseness of the "great refusal" to that circle of hell 
where are those disdained alike by mercy and justice, on 
whom the poet would not condescend to look. But Petrarch, 
in his declamation on the duty of a solitary life, has counter- 
acted this adverse sentence by his poetic praise. Assuredly 
the act of Coelestine was no contemptuous rejection of a great 


May 19] 6*. Peter Celestine. 299 

place oflfered him by God, but was the natural result of the 
wearinessr, the regret of an old man suddenly wrenched from 
all his habits and pursuits and plunged in the turmoil of a 
life for which he was unfitted by nature and by training. 

The old man had returned to his mountain cave, and 
hoped there to lay his bones in peace. But it was not so 
to be. He was succeeded on the papal throne by Bene- 
detto Gaetani, who assumed the name of Boniface VI 11. 
At once a hostile party manifested itself, and the new pope 
feared lest the name of Ccelestine should be used as an 
excuse for revolt against his supremacy. Boniface was not 
the man to allow any advantage to his adversaries, and ad- 
versaries he knew well that he had, and would have more, 
and these more formidable, if they could gain possession 
of the person of Ccelestine. Ccelestine had abandoned the 
pomp and authority, he could not shake off the dangers 
and troubles, which belonged to his former state. The 
solitude, in which he hoped to live and die in peace, was 
closely watched. Once he escaped, and hid himself among 
some other hermits in a wood. But he could not elude 
the emissaries of Boniface. He received an alarming 
warning of danger, and fled to the sea coast, in order to 
take refuge in the untrodden mountain fastnesses of Dal- 
matia. His little vessel was cast back by contrary winds ; 
he was taken and sent, by order of Boniface, to Anagni. 
All along the road, for above one hundred and fifty miles, 
the people, deeply impressed with the sanctity of Ccelestine, 
crowded around him with perilous homage. Some of the 
more zealous implored him to resume the pontificate. The 
humility of Ccelestine did not forsake him for an instant ; 
everywhere he professed that his resignation was volun- 
tary, rendered necessary by his incapacity. He was 
brought into the presence of Boniface. Like the meanest 
son of the Church, he fell down at the feet of the pope; 

30O Lives of the Saints. iMayi^. 

his only prayer, a prayer urged with tears, was that he 
might be permitted to return and rest unmolested in his 
mountain hermitage. Boniface addressed him in harsh 
terms. He was committed to safe custody in the castle of 
Fumone, watched day and night by soldiers, like a prisoner 
of state. His treatment is described as more or less severe, 
according as the writer is more or less favourable to Boni- 
face. By one account his cell was so narrow that he had 
not room to move; where his feet stood when he cele- 
brated mass by day, there his head reposed at night. He 
obtained with difficulty permission for two of his brethren 
to be with him ; but so unwholesome and noisome was the 
place, that they were obliged to resign their charitable 
office. According to another statement the narrowness of 
his cell was his own choice ; his brethren were allowed free 
access to him ; he suffered no insult, but was treated with 
the utmost humanity and respect. Death released him 
before long from his spontaneous or enforced wretchedness. 
He was seized with a fever, generated perhaps by the un- 
healthy confinement, accustomed as he had been to the 
pure mountain air. He died May 19th, 1296, and was 
buried with ostentatious pomp in the church of Ferentino, 
that the world might know that Boniface now reigned 
without rival. Immediately on the death of Boniface, the 
canonization of Coelestine was urgently demanded. It was 
granted by Clement V. in 1313. 

May 19] 61 VVO. 3OI 

S. YVO, P.C. 

(a.d. 1303) 

[Canonized by Clement VI. in 1347. His elevation is celebrated in the 
diocese of Treguier on Oct. 29th. Authority : — The Acts of his canoni- 
zation, begun in 1330. from which several condensations have been made ; 
amongst others a life by Maurice Gaufred. The Acts contain the testis 
mony of many who saw and knew S. Yvo.] 

In looking through the names and lives of saints, we see 
the deadening effect of prosperity and wealth on the 
religious susceptibilities of man. Rich and flourishing 
counties have produced few saints, whereas sad and poor 
ones have developed them in crowds. Brittany and Ire- 
land have brought forth thousands ; Normandy not one, at 
least of Norman race. Few have come of the shopkeeper 
class, and few from the ranks exercising legal professions. 
All are kings or beggars, prelates or monks, warriors or 
hermits. There are one or two physicians, but their 
legends are apocryphal. Brittany has had the privilege of 
adopting a saintly lawyer, S. Yvo ; but the popular con- 
science protests to this day against the intrusion, by sing- 
ing on his festival, " Advocatus et non latro. Res miranda 
populo" (a lawyer and not a thief, a marvel to people). 

S. Yvo or Yves, called "the advocate of the poor," was 
born in the year 1253, at Kermartin, near Treguier. His 
father Heler was Lord of Kermartin. His mother's name 
was Azon du Quenquis. To this day Kermartin is in the 
possession of a descendant^ The house in which S. Yvo 
was born was pulled down only in 1834, but the bed has. 
been preserved, and is still shown. 

1 It remained in the direct line till the i^th century, when Olivier de Kermartin 
married Plesson de Quelin; their great grand-daughter married Maurice ^de- 
Quelen. From this family :t passed to that of La Riviere, which possessed it in 
1790. The heiress of La Riviere was the wife of the famous Larayette, who sold 
Kermartin to the Count of Quelen, and it belongs to the family of this name at 
the present day. 

302 Lives of tlie Saints. [May 19. 

At the age of fourteen, Yvo was sent by his parents to 
the Paris schools, where he studied canon law. At the 
-age of twenty-four he studied civil law at Orleans. On his 
return to Brittany he was appointed by the bishop of 
Rennes to be ecclesiastical judge in the diocese. At that 
time a great number of cases, which now come under the 
jurisdiction of the civil courts, were heard in the ecclesi- 
astical courts. At Rennes he received minor orders, as it 
was considered necessary for the bishop's judge to be a 
derk, but it was not till 1579 that the judge was required 
to be in priest's orders. 

But Alain de Bruc, bishop of Treguier, having claimed 
Yvo for his diocese, he obeyed the appeal of his bishop 
.and changed his tribunal, though not his office. In 1285 
he was ordained priest and made incumbent of Tr^drez. 
He held this cure eight years, and then received that of 
Lohanec, which he retained till his death. 

As judge and lawyer he proved himself to be strictly 
just, and what was a marvel in those days — inaccessible' to 
bribes. When people were at variance, hd sought by all 
means to reconcile them, and adjust their quarrels amic- 
ably, without bringing them into court When a poor 
person was summoned before him by a richer for some 
wrong done, he endeavoured to dissuade the prosecutor 
from bringing the law to bear on the offender, and to per- 
suade him to accept instead an apology and a promise 
•^of amendment. In countless instances, he saved the 
expenditure of large sums in lawsuits, and prevented 
quarrels from developing into estrangement and hostility. 
He was an umpire rather than a judge; or rather, he only 
assumed his judicial authority as a last resource, when all 
means of reconciliation proved ineffectual. He also 
pleaded the cause of the poor when oppressed, before the 
.civil tribunal, taking no payment, but acting solely from his 
iove of justice and desire to see wrongs redressed. 

Way«9] S. YVO. 303 

His living brought him in a good revenue which he 
rspent in charity. He turned his parsonage into an orphan- 
age, and those orphans whom he could not receive he 
provided for in other houses, and when they were arrived 
at a proper age, he apprenticed them to different trades. 
His sympathy with the poor was unbounded. One morning 
he found a poor half-naked man lying on his door-step. 
He had spent the night there, shivering with cold. Yvo, 
shocked, made the beggar sleep in his bed the following 
night, and lay himself outside the house on his door-step, 
that he might learn by experience what the sufferings of 
the poor are, and knowing them, might be always ready to 
feel for them. 

On another occasion he was being fitted by a tailor with 
n new coat. As the tailor was walking round him, putting 
the coat about his person and admiring the fit, Yvo's eyes 
were gazing through his window into the yard, and there 
he saw a miserable man with only a tattered coat on his 
back, through the rents of which his fiesh was exposed. 
He plucked off his new coat, ran down stairs and gave it 
to the beggar, saying to the astonished tailor, "There is 
plenty of wear still in my old coats. I will content myself 
with them." 

Again, one day he visited a hospital, and when he saw 
how ill-clothed some of the sick persons were, he pulled off 
his own garments and gave them away, then wrapping a 
coverlet round him, sat on the side of a bed, till his servant 
ihad brought him another suit from home. As a priest he 
-was full of zeal, and preached with unction. Wherever he 
went, he sought to instil the love of God, and a knowledge 
-of their duties into the hearts of those with whom he was 
cast. In the fields he walked by the ploughman, and 
taught him prayers. He sat under a furze bush on the 
moor beside shepherd boys and instructed them in the use 

304 Lives of the Saints. tMay 19^ 

of the rosary, and he caught h'ttle children in the street; 
and told them Bible stories of God and Jesus Christ 
His Bible was his constant companion, and when he 
slept, he laid his head on the Sacred Book as his pillow. 

One story of his advocacy of the poor must not be 
omitted. Two rogues brought a heavy chest to a widow 
lady, which they said contained twelve hundred pieces of 
gold, and requested her to take chaige of it for them, till 
they reclaimed it Some weeks after, one of the rogues 
returned, claimed the box and carried it off. A few days 
later the other rogue came and asked for the chest, and 
because the widow could not produce it, brought her before 
the court and sued her for twelve hundred pieces of gold. 
Yvo heard that the case was going against her, when he 
entered the court, offered to take her defence, and then 
said, " My client is ready to restore the money to both of 
the men who committed it to her trust; therefore both 
must appear to claim it.'' 

At this the accused turned uneasy, and attempted to 
escape, but he was restrained, and then confessed that thi» 
was a plot between him and his companion to extort moneys 
from the widow, and that the chest really contained nothing 
but bits of old iron. 

On the Good Friday before his death, S. Yvo preached 
on the Passion in seven different parishes, one after 
another, for he was so earnest, eloquent^ and his Breton 
sermons were listened to with such emotion by the 
peasants, that the clergy in his neighbourhood sought his 
aid in the pulpit, and he never denied it, when it was- 
possible for him to give it He said his last mass on the 
Vigil of the Ascension, and died on the 19th May, 1303,. 
at the age of fifty. 

At the French revolution his reliquary was destroyed, 
but the bones were preserved, and have been re>inshnned 

May 19.J 

S. Yvo. 


at Treguier. S. Yvo is generally represented with the cat as 
his symbol; the cat be ng regarded as in some sort sym- 
bolizing a lawyer, who watches for his prey, darts on it 
at the proper moment with alacrity, and when he has got 
his victim, delights to play with him, but never lets him 
escape from his clutches. 

VOI. V. 


3o6 Lives of the Saints. CMay 

May 20. 

S. Plantilla, Malr. at Ronu, elre. a.d.66.1 

S* Basilla, F.M. at Ronu, ^rd cent, 

SS. Tballeubus and Coup., MM, at Mga, in Cilieia, A.D. 3S4: 

S. Baudsuus, M. atMsmes, 

S* Anastabius, Archb. </* Bturges, a.d. 624. 

S. Etbblbirt, JT. ^Eatt Anglia, a.d. 793. 

S. Ivo, B' •/ Chartrtt, a.d. 11 x^. 

S. Bbrnardinb or Sibna, 0.3f., a.d. xt44. 

B. CoLuiTBA or Rkati, F^ a*d. z5ox« 

SSi Martym^ ol Humes, A»^ 1^67. 


(3RD CENT.) 

[Roman Martyrology, and those of Usuardtis, Ado, Notker, &c. ; also 
three copies of the ancient Roman Martyrology called that of S. Jerome. 
Authority: — ^The ancient Acts of S. Eugenia (Dec« asth), which were 
known and quoted in the 5th cent., at the Council of Epaone ; but these 
acts are nevertheless to be rejected as fabulous, as Papebroeck shows, by 
pointing out such egregious blunders in history as divest them of all daim 
on our attention as trustworthy. Nevertheless, Giry and Guerin give 
them without a hint that they are not trustworthy authority.] 

[HE ancient martyrologies say that on this day 
Basilla, a virgin, suffered death on the Salarian 
way at Rome. In 1654 the catacomb of S. 
Cyriacus was being investigated, when on the 
third story was found a white marble slab covering a 
sepulchre, on which was engraved BasiUa^ with the symbols 
of a palm-branch and a dove, emblems of martyrdom and 
virginity. Within were found the bones, together with a 
phial such as that frequently found in the catacombs, and 
supposed to contain some of the blood of the martyr. 

'^Tbe mother of S. Flavia DomitUla (May xath); the Is taid to have been 
•iM»tised by S. Peter, and to bare been present at the martyrdom of S. Paul. . 

May 20.1 6*. Thallelceiu, 307 

The bones were enshrined and given the Hospital Sisters 
of the Hotel-Dieu at Bayeux, in Normandy. In 1833 two 
portions of the bones were removed and given by the 
bi$hop to the hospital at Rennes, and to the nuns of 
Notre Dame de la Charitd at Bayeux. 

(a.d. 284.) 

[By the Greeks on this day. Also the Modern Roman Martyrology, 
which, however, wrongly calls him martyr at Edessa ; Baronius, who in- 
serted the name, being misled by the Menasa ; but it is clear from the Acts 
that he suffered atiCgae. Authority :— -The ancient Greek Acts, written in 
a simple style, are not altogether trustworthy, but have received insertions 
of fabulous matter. Later Greek Acts exist, composed evidently by some 
one who had never seen the older Acts, and the discrepancy between the 
two accounts is very wide. In one, the executioners, Alexander and 
Asterius, are converted and suffer. In the other Alexander and Asterius 
are not executioners at all, but bystanders. In one Thallelaeus is thrown 
into the sea at ^gse, in the other he is cast overboard at Edessa. The 
torments are different in both. The ancient Acts tell the story of the 
governor adhering to his throne, the later Acts are silent on this point.] 

THALLELiEus was a physician of Anazarbus, a city of 
Cilicia. On the promulgation of the decree of the Em- 
peror Numerian against Christianity, he took refuge in a|i 
olive plantation, but was caught and dragged to Mg^ oti 
the sea coast, where he was brought before the governor, 
Theodoras, who ordered a rope to be passed between the 
bone and tendon of his feet behind the ankle, and that 
Thallelseus should be thus suspended, head downwards. 
The executioners, Alexander and Asterius, attempted to 
evade the performance of this cmel sentence, and were 
punished for their compassion with death.^ Then the 

>Thc story here has a strong tonch of the grot^^Tie. The ancient Acts say 
<'Et iratus Prseses dixit; Ponite mihi sellam ; ego H^s confmrgam et terebraba 

3o8 Lives of the Saints. [May m. 

governor ordered the martyr to be cast into the sea^ 
and when he scrambled on shore, bade his head to be 
struck off. 

(a.d. 792.) 

[Cologne and Lubeck Martyrology of 1490. Greven in his additicns to 
Usuardus. Anglican Martyrologies, and the Bollandists. Authorities : — 
Mention in the Saxon Chronicle, the Chronicle of John of Brompton, 
Matthew of Westminster, Florence of Worcester, William of Malmes- 
bury, &C.] 

Ethelbert was the son and successor of Ethelred, king 
of the East Angles. He came to the throne very youngs 
at the time that the powerful Offa was king of the Mercians. 
Offa was in many things a good and just ruler, but he was 
guilty of a signal act of treachery to Ethelbert, prompted 
thereto by his wife Quendritha. 

The young prince, disregarding the forebodings of his 

mother, came to the court of Offa at Sutton Wallis, in 

Herefordshire, to seek the hand of his beautiful and pious 

daughter Alfreda. Offa received him with great respect 

and hospitality. But the queen, Quendritha, was full of 

ambitious schemes, and she said to the king, ** Behold^ 

God has this day given your enemy into your hands, whose 

kingdom you have so long and daily coveted, now destroy 

him secretly, and his kingdom will be yours and for your 

heirs for ever." The king hesitated. It was the old story 

of Jezebel and Ahab coveting Naboth's vineyard over 


ejus talos. S. Thallelaeus dixit; Svirpje Praeses et veniens perfora talos meos. 
Ut autem surrexit Fraeses, thronus in ^uo sederat adhaeslt posterioribis ejus, et 
omnes qui sedebant ia tempiO elata voce exclamaverunt Magnus est Deus 
Christianorum, qui ejustnodi mirabilia faclt, E^seses antem non ferens rere- 
cundiam, vocavit B. Thallelsnm dicens, Ora Deum tuum, Thaildxe, ut 
extidat a me thronus; ver: enim Deus tuus magnus est. Orante antcm B. 
Thallelaso, decidit ab illo thronus." 

Mayao.] S. Bertiardtne. 309 

again. How it ended is not clear. The Saxon Chronicle 
says that Ethelbert's head was struck off, but Matthew of 
Westminster tells another tale, on what authority is doubt- 
ful. He says that the queen placed a richly adorned cliair 
in the bedroom of the young king over a trap door in the 
floor, and on the chair placed silk cushions. The young 
man, on reaching his room after a banquet, flung liiinself 
into the chair, when the trap gave way, and he was pre- 
cipitated into a vault where some of the servants of the 
queen were stationed, and they suffocated him witli the 
silk cushions. 

It can hardly be doubted that Offa was privy to the 
commission of the murder. He certainly lost no time in 
taking advantage of it, for he sent troops into East Angh'a 
and annexed it at once to his own possessions. Then, as 
usual, he built churches and monasteries to atone for his 
wickedness, especially Hereford Cathedral, which was 
dedicated to S. Ethelbert, and where he was buried. 
Some say that he went a pilgrimage to Rome ; at any rate 
he gave much to churches at Rome, and especially to the 
English school there. Alfreda, abhorring the crime that 
liad been committed by her parents, retired to Croyland, 
where she spent forty years in seclusion, and died in the 
odour of sanctity. 


(A.D. 1444.) 

[Canonized by Nicholas V. in i45o. Authority :— His life, written a few 
months after his death by his disciple. Bishop John Capistran. Another 
by Maphaeus Vegius, an eye-witness of much that he retetcs.J 

On the 8th September, 1380, S. Bernardino was born at 
Dassa, a little town near Siena. He lost his mother when 
he was aged three, and his father when he was six years 

3IO Lives of the Saints. [Maya©, 

old, and was then taken by one of his aunts to live with 
her. This good woman educated him in virtue, and the 
boy grew up gentle, pious, bashful. At school he retained 
the same simplicity and purity, inspiring reverence even in 
the school-boys who were his associates, to such an extent 
that they were careful not to use improper words before 
him. If some of them were conversing on unbecoming topics,, 
and the saintly child drew nigh, "Hush," one of them 
would say, "here comes little Bernardine." 

He is said once at table to have rebuked a gentleman 
who began to make coarse jokes and tell unseemly stories* 
The boy's cheek grew scarlet, his eye flashed, and he started 
up exclaiming, "Remember, you are a Christian." The* 
gentleman looked at his noble, excited young face, and was 

In the year 1400 a terrible plague broke out in Italy, and 
Siena was not spared. Bernardine devoted himself to the 
care of the sick at a time when fear of infection dried, up 
the ordinary springs of compassion. He collected twelve 
young men like himself, and together they served the sick^ 
removed corpses from the houses, carried those infected to 
the hospital, and were unremitting in their attendance to the 
plague stricken during the four months that the pestilence 
raged. When the plague abated, and his energies were less 
taxed, he fell ill, and for some time hovered between life and 
death. On his recovery he devoted himself to an aged aunt of 
ninety years named Bartholomea,who was blind and palsied; 
he bore with her infirmities and tended her with the most 
loving gentleness till her death. After he had closed her 
eyes he went to live with a friend ouside Siena; in his house 
one day as he prayed before his crucifix, it seemed to him 
as if the nakedness of his Saviour on the cross, bereft of 
friends, possessions, clothes, without even a grave, reproached 
him, and he resolved to give up all that was his own, and 

May2t»j S, Bentardine. 311 

enter the Order of S. Francis. He took the habit in the 
convent of Colembierro, at some little distance from Siena, 
in his twenty-ninth year. He soon became remarkable as 
a preacher, and his sermons produced an astonishing effect 
on sinners, melting them to tears and bringing them to re- 
pentance. He was accused to the Pope of heresy, but 
when called to Rome by Martin V. he completely satisfied 
the Holy Father of his orthodoxy. The accusation was 
founded on his carrying about with him the name of Jesus 
written on a piece of paper, surrounded with rays of light. 
This he was wont to shew to the people, when in a trans- 
port of love for that sacred Name, he called them to the 
Lord who bought them. 

This had been exaggerated, and the story altered, and an 
accusation built on it, but when the Pope found out how 
baseless was the charge, he dismissed Bemardine with 
honour. His labours to advance true religion tended at 
the same time to the extension of the Order of the Friars 
Minors. When he joined it^ the Order had only twenty 
convents in Italy, ere his death there were about two hun- 
dred. He was appointed by Pope Eugenius IV. to be 
Vicar-general of the Order in Italy, He was offered several 
bishoprics, but he refused them all. He .died at Aquila in 
the Abruzzi on the vigil of the Ascension in 1444, at the 
hour of vespers, as the friars were chanting in choir the 
proper antiphon, "I have manifested Thy Name unto the 
men which Thou gavest me out of the world : Thine they 
were, and Thou gavest them me; and they have kept Thy 

He is represented in art in the habit of a Minorite, with 
an I.H.S., or the name of Jesus surrounded by rays, on his 
breast, and with the three mitres he refused to accept at his 
side. Or with a trumpet, as from his preaching power he 
obtained the appellation of " the Gospel trumpet." 

312 Lives of the Saints. cMay ao. 

(A.D. 1567.) 

[Venerated only at Nismes. They have never been canonized. Au- 
thorities :— Baragnon : Hist, de Nismes, &c.] 

It is hard to say on which side most atrocities were 
committed in the religious wars in France, in the i6th 
century. If the Catholic cause was sullied by the cruelty 
of Moniuc, the Calvinist side was disgraced by the bar- 
barity of Des Adrets. The horrible crime of the massacre 
of S. Bartholomew produced so vivid an effect on men 
of the time, and has attracted such attention since, that 
men have forgotten that the Huguenots had provoked the 
king and his party to a frenzy of alarm for the safety of 
his crown and of the Catholic religion. France was at the 
height of her prosperity, and at peace, when the spread of 
Calvin's doctrines disturbed the &ith and consciences 
of men, and led to revolts, desecration of churches, and 
horrible outrages committed upon priests and monks, and 
faithful Catholic laymen. In taking revenge for these 
crimes, the leaders of the Catholic party conducted them- 
selves with such barbarity as did not beseem Christians; 
but we must not forget the intense provocation they had 

At Nismes the Huguenots attacked the churches, de- 
stroyed the altars, broke the sculptured ornaments, 
trampled and spat on the Blessed Sacrament, and taking 
the large crucifix from the principal church, publicly 
whipped it, and then hacked the figure of the Redeemer to 
pieces. All the Catholic clergy were driven out of the 
city, and the exercise of the Catholic religion was rigidly 
suppressed. On September 30th, 1567, the Huguenots 
rose against the Catholics, and drove a number of Catho- 
lics, including the consul, Gui Rochette, into the episcopal 

MayaQ.1 SS. Martyvs of Nismes. 313 

palace, shouting, "Kill all the Papists!" The Catholics 
were shut up in the cellars of the palace. About an hour 
before midnight they were dragged out and led into that 
grey old courtyard, where the imagination can still detect 
the traces of that cruel massacre. One by one the victims 
came forth; a few steps, and they fell pierced by sword or 
pike. Some struggled with their murderers, and tried to 
escape, but only prolonged their agony. By the dim light 
of a few torches, between seventy or eighty unhappy 
wretches were butchered in cold blood, and their bodies, 
some only half-dead, were thrown into the well in one 
comer of the yard, not far from an orange-tree, the leaves 
of which (says local tradition) were ever afterwards marked 
with the blood-stains of this massacre. 

In the September of the following year, the* brutal scenes 
of violence were renewed ; the city was plundered, and its 
streets were dyed with Catholic blood. The governor, 
S. Andr^ was shot and thrown out of the window, and his 
corpse was torn in pieces by the Calvinist mob. In the 
country round Nismes, forty-eight unresisting Catholics 
were murdered; and at Alais the Huguenots massacred 
seven canons, two grey-friars, and several other church- 

314 Lives of the Saints. iMayai. 

May 21. 

S. EusTALiA, F,M. at Salntes, yrdcentJ^ 

S. CoxsTANriME, First Christian Emperor, a.d. 33^. 

SS. SECUNDUS/P.Af., AND CoMP., MM* at Alexandria^ a.d. 3^6. 

SS. Bishops and Confessors under Constanti us, in Egypt, a.d, 3^6. 

S. HosjpiTius, H, at yillafranca, near Nice, a.d. 581.* 

S. I BERGS ^* a' Tberghe, in Artois, circ. K,ii, 800. 

SS. Ehrenfried, Count Palatine, Mathilda, his Wife, and their 

Daughter, B. Richeza, Q. (if Poland, a.d> X025, Z035* Z0S3. 
S. Silas, B. at Lucca, a.d. Z094. 
S. GoDRiCK, Ht at Finehale, in Durham, a.d. 1x70. 

• (A.D. 337.) 

[Greek Menology and Mensea, and Arabic-Egyptian Kalendar. 
Venerated in the Greek Church as Isapostolos, "Equal to an Apostle." 
Also by the Russian Church. His veneration in the Western Church baa 
never been very general. He receives local veneration at Prague, in 
Sicily and Calabria. In England also several churches and altars wer« 
dedicated to him. Authorities: — Eusebius' Life of Constantine, an<f 
Panegyric on Constantine (264-340), Lactantius De Mort. Persec. 
(250-330); the Letters and Treatises of S. Athanasius (296-373), Eumenius.- 
Panegyric at Treves (310) ; Nazarius, Panegyric at Rome (321) ; anc' 
Zosimus (circ. 430.) 

jT is impossible into the compass of a briel 
article, such as is admissible into this volume, 
to compress a life of this great emperor, so as 
to do it justice. And I am not disposed to 
accord to Constantine a more lengthy notice than was 
given to Charlemagne, for two reasons. First, his life, 
like that of Charlemagne, is readily accessible to any 

1 See L'fe oi S. Eutropius (April 30th.) S. Fustalia, or Eustella, is said ta 
have been cruelly put to death by her own brother. Her body was laid in the 
same tomb with S. Eutropius. 

» Called at Nice, S. Sospes, 

Mayji.] 6*. Constantine. 


reader of history, and the lives of these two emperors 
being of so great importance in their times, and in the 
evolution of subsequent history, have been dwelt upon at 
considerable length' by writers of profane and ecclesiastical 
history. Secondly, the claim of Constantine to a place in 
the ranks of the saints is very questionable* His life was 
sullied by crimes of the blackest die, he postponed his 
baptism to the last moment of his life, and was then 
admitted to the Church by an Arian* 

Yet to him the Church has ever felt grateful, as having 
delivered her from persecution. 

If Constantine was not an l^nglishman by t)irth^ yet un- 
questionably he was proclaimed emperor at York, He 
probably never visited our shores again. Yet the remem- 
brance of that early connexion long continued. It shaped 
itself into the legend of his British birth, of which, within 
the walls of York, the scene is still shown. His mother's 
name lives still in the numerous British churches dedicated 
to her. London wall was ascribed to him. Handsome, 
tall, stout, broad-shouldered, he was a high specimen of 
the military chief of the declining empire. His eye was 
remarkable for a brightness, almost a glare, which reminded 
his courtiers of that of a lion. He had a contemptuous 
trick of throwing back his head, which, by bringing out the 
full proportions of his thick neck, procured for him the 
nickname of Trachala. His voice was remarkable for its 
gentleness and softness. In dress and outward demeanour 
the military commander was almost lost in the vanity and 
aflfectation of Oriental splendour. He was not an ordinary 
man. He had a presence of mind which was never 
thrown off its guard. He had the capacity of casting him- 
self, with almost fanatical energy, into whatsoever cause 
came before him for the moment^ 

Every student of ecclesiastical history must pause for a 

3i6 Lives of the Saints. [May^x. 

moment before the story of the conversion of Constanthie. 
No conversion of such magnitude had occurred since the 
apostolic age. His rival, Maxentius, was a fierce fanatical 
pagan. Constantine was approaching Rome; his fate hung on 
the result of a battle, he would be the emperor of the world, 
or be trampled under the feet of the tyrant. Eusebius, on 
the testimony of Constantine himself, says that as he was in 
prayer on his march and that about noon, a flaming cross 
appeared in the sky with the words " In this conquer ;" 
and the following night he saw in a dream Christ bearing 
the standard of the cross. On consultation with some 
Christian priests in his camp, Constantine adopted this 
sacred banner instead of the Roman eagles, and professed 
himself a convert to the Christian faith. The victory of 
Constantine over Maxentius was complete. Everywhere 
the Roman eagles gave way before the standard of the 
cross, and Christianity became established as the recog- 
nized religion of the empire, when Constantine assumed 
the purple. 

This was in 312, and it was not till 337 that he was 
baptized, and that not till he lay a-dying. He was pre- 
paxing for his Persian expedition when an illness super- 
vened ; he went to Helenopolis, to try the mineral waters 
in the neighbourhood. The illness increased; a sinister 
suspicion of poison stole through the palace. He felt that his 
sickness was mortal, and now at last he determined on taking 
the step, long delayed, of admission to the Christian Church. 
Incredible as it may seem to our notions, he who had 
live-and-twenty years ago been convinced of the Christian 
faith ; he who had opened the first general council of the 
Church ; he who had joined in the deepest discussions of 
theology; h« who had preached to rapt audiences; he 
who had established Christianity as the religion of the 
empire, was himself not yet received into -the Christian 

May 21.] S. Consiantine. 317 

The whole event of his baptism is related in the utmost 
detail. In the church of Helenopolis, in a kneeling 
posture of devotion, he was admitted to be a catechumen 
by the imposition of hands. He then moved to a palace 
in the suburb of Nicomedia, and then calling the bishops 
around him, amongst whom the celebrated Arian, Ensebius 
of Nicomedia, was chief, announced that once he had 
hoped to have received baptism in the waters of Jordan ; 
but that as God willed otherwise, he desired to receive the 
rite without delay. The imperial purple was removed ; he 
was clothed, instead, in robes of dazzling whiteness ; his 
couch was covered with white also ; in the white robes of 
baptism, on a white death-bed, he lay in expectation of his 
end. Then he did an act of justice to the greatest saint of 
his day, one whom he had harshly treated and persecuted. 
In spite of the opposition of Eusebius, he ordered the 
recall of the exiled Athanasius. The Arian influence, 
though it was enough to make him content with Arian 
consolations, and Arian sacraments, was not enough to 
make him refuse justice at that supreme moment to the 
oppressed chief of the Catholic party. 

At noon, on the feast of Pentecost, the 22nd May, in the 
sixty-fourth year of his reign, he expired. A wild wail of 
grief arose from the army and the people, on hearing that 
Constantine was dead. 

The body was laid out in a coffin of gold, and carried 
by a procession of the whole army, headed by his son 
Constans to Constantinople. For three months it lay there 
in state in the palace, lights burning round, and guards 
watching. - During all this time the empire was without a 
head. Constans, the youngest son, was there alone* The 
two elder sons had not arrived. One dark shadow it is 
pretended rests on this scene. It is said that the bishop 
of Nicomedia, to whom the emperor's will had been con- 

3 1 8 Lives of the Saints. [May ai. 

fided, alarmed at its contents, immediately placed it for 
security in the dead man's hand, wrapped in the vestments 
of death. There it lay, till Constantius arrived, and read 
his father's dying bequest. It was believed to express the 
emperor's conviction that he had been poisoned by his 
brothers and their children, and to call on Constantius to 
avenge his death. That bequest was obeyed by the 
massacre of six out of the surviving princes of the im- 
perial family. With such a mingling of light and darkness 
did Constantine close his career.^ This story rests on 
the authority of Philostorgius (d. 430). Although it has 
been given some prominence by certain writers who 
delight in casting the suspicion of crime on any great 
man who has served the Church, it is impossible to admit 
it as probable. The great crime of Constantine's life was 
the precipitate execution of his son Crispus and his wife 
Fausta. How far they were guilty, how far Constantine had 
been deceived by false accusation^ it is impossible to say; 
we have no information on which to ground an opinion. 
But what is certain is, that these executions preyed on the 
mind of Coiistantine, and troubled his conscience to the 
last. Is it likely that he would stain his baptismal inno- 
cence by inciting his son Constantine to a butchery of the 
survivors in his family? And that on an obscure sus- 
picion? Again, if the will of Constantine was open to be 
read by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and remained thus for 
three months, during all which time Constans was in 
possession of it, is it probable that Constans would have 
allowed the document denouncing him to death, to remain 
till the executioner came to receive it from the dead man's 

' Sec Stanley's Eastern Chnrcb« Lcct. rl. 

Mayai.3 S. Secuftdus and Comp. 319 


(A.D. 356.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Authority :— The Apologia Da Fuga and Ep. 
Ad. Solit. of S. Athanasius.] 

In the persecution of the Catholics of Alexandria by 
George, the Arian bishop, whom the Emperor Constantius 
had set in the place of S. Athanasius, Secundus, a priest, 
and several others were killed whilst keeping the feast of, 
Pentecost. George has been already described (see life of 
S. George, April 24). He is said to have been ordained by 
Arian bishops in 354. He made his entry into Alexandria 
during the Lent of 356, and began his high-handed acts of 
violence immediately on the celebration of Easter. The 
Catholics assembled for that festival in a desert place near 
the cemeteiy, as they would not communicate in the 
churches from the hands of Arian clergy who denied the 
Eternal Godhead of the Son. They assembled again in the 
same place to keep the Whitsun festival. George having 
heard of it, persuaded the governor, Sebastian, who was a 
Manichaean, to send troops to punish them. The soldiers 
rushed sword in hand among the worshippers, and killed 
tiie priest Secundus and several of those present. Sebas- 
tian lit a great fire, and brought several virgins before it to 
make them confess themselves ready to submit to the false 
doctrine of Arius. But when he found that they could not 
be terrified; he stripped them, and beat them on the face 
till their features were unrecognizable. He took forty men, 
tied them back to back, and beat them so severely with 
sharp palm branches that many died of their wounds. Their 
bodies were cast to the dogs, and their relatives were for- 
bidden to bury them. Those who survived were banished 
to the great Oasis. By the authority of Sebastian the 
Catholic clergy were all expelled the city. Virgins were 

320 Lives of the Saints. cMayai. 

tied to stakes and their sides torn ; the faithful laity had 
their houses pillaged, and were driven from the town. j 

The persecution extended throughout Egypt and Libya. \ 

Constantius, the emperor, had ordered that all the 
churches should be given up to Arians, and Sebastian was: 
required to carry this order into execution. He wrote to } 

the governors and military officers of the different districts. 
The bishops were everywhere imprisoned, the priests and 
monks thrown into chains and banished. Venerable pre- 
lates of great age, some who had been bishops under S. 
Alexander, others under S. Achilles, and some even who 
had been ordained by S. Peter of Alexandria, the great 
bishop, who had suffered forty-five years before, were 
hurried across burning deserts. Several died in exile, 
several died on their way. Sixteen bishops were sent into 
banishment, thirty were driven from their sees. 


(about A.D. 800.) 

[Gallican and Belgian Martyrologies. Regarded as patroness of Artois, 
Great difSculties stand in the way of giving her history accurately. It is 
uncertain whether she is to be identified with Gisela, the sister of Charle- 
magne, or not.] 

According to the Artesian tradition, enshrined in the 
lections of the Breviary of Artcis, Isberga was a daughter 
of Pepin the Short, and sister of Charlemagne. But Egia- 
hard says that Pepin had only one daughter, Gisela. Gisela 
is said in the life of S. Drausinus, to have become abbess 
of Soissons. Eginhard simply says that Gisela was dedi- 
cated to a religious life from her childhood, and that she 
died shortly before he wrote, in her monastery. It is 
supposed that Gisela came to the hill on which she founded 
tier monastery, and that it was called after her, Gisliberg, 

May 21. S. Isberga. 321 

the hill of Gisela, and this was in time contracted into 
Isberg, and the name of the monastery was given to the 
virgin abbess who founded it. The legend of S. Gisela, 
or Isberga, is as follows, as given in the " L^gendaire de 
La Morine." 

Gisela was the daughter of Pepin the Short and Queen 
Bertha, and had for her sponsor, by proxy, at the font, 
Pope Stephen IV., and from him received her name of 
Ghirla, the Teutonic for a wreath, a word surviving in our 
English garland. She was so called in honour of . her 
sponsor Stephen, whose name in Greek signifies also a 
wreath. But the Franks altered the r into s in their 
vulgar dialect, and called her Ghisla or Gisela. Pepin had 
built a castle at Ybergh, or Aire, in Artois, and there 
Gisela made the acquaintance of S. Venantius, a hermit in 
the neighbourhood, who gave her wise advice, and directed 
her conscience. 

Gisela was sought in marriage by the emperor of Con- 
stantinople, and afterwards by a son of one of the English 
kings, we are not told which. She refused all offers, and 
beseeching God to remove the occasion of these impor- 
tunities, was afflicted with an eruption over her face which 
disfigured her. According to one story, the Anglo-Saxon 
ambassadors attributed this malady to the witchcraft of 
S. Venantius, and they attacked and murdered him in his 
hermitage, and flung his body into the Lys.^ 

The princess speedily recovered her beauty and health, 
and was again importuned to give her hand in marriage, 
this time to a Lombard prince. To escape further annoy- 
ance, she took the veil, and erected a nunnery on the hill 
of S. Peter at Aire, near her father's palace, and there 
spent the rest of her days. 

Near the church of S. Iberga, which contains her relics, 

• Sec his ire, October loth, 
VOL. V. 21 

322 Lives of tlie Saints. [Maya,. 

is a fountain called after her name, about five minutes 
walk on the " Voyette de S. Ibergue," or path of the saint, 
leading to Wastelau, where was the hermitage of S. 
Venantius. This path is now cut by the canal of Aire to 
La Bas^e. A little chapel overshadowed by elms stands 
above the well, which is walled round, and has in its side a 
niche containing an image of the saint. Before the chapel 
is a broad, turfy terrace, which is crowded with pilgrims on 
May 2ist, and during the octave, when mass is said in the 
little chapeL * 

(a.d. 1 1 70.) 

[AnglicaQ and Monastic Martyrologies, Molanus and the Bollandists. 
Authorities : — A life by Reginald of Durham, written at the request of S, 
Ailredof Rievaulx« whilst S. Godrick was still alive, and presented to S. 
Ailred. It must have been written before zx66, the year in which S. 
Ailred died. This life, from an early copy in the British Museum, has 
been published by the Surtees Society, Durham, 1845. Another life, also 
by a contemporary, Galfred monk of Finchale, derived mostly, from 
Reginald. The following life is condensed from the charming sketch of 
S. Godrick by Mr. C. Kingsley in "The Hermits."] 

In a loop of the river Wear, near Durliam, there settled 
in the days of Bishop Flambard, between 1099 and 11 28, 
a man whose parentage and history was for many years 
unknown to the good folks of the neighbourhood He 
had come, it seems, from a hermitage in Eskdale, in the 
parish of Whitby, whence he had been driven by the 
Percys, lords of the soil. H« had gone to Durham, be- 
come the doorkeeper of S. Giles's Chturch, and gradually 
learnt by heart (he was no scholar) the whole Psalter. 
Then he had gone to S. Mary's Church, where, as was th^ 
fiishion of the times, there was a children's school ; andt 
listening to the little ones at their lessons, picked up such 

Mayar] S. Godruk. 3^3 

hymns and prayers as he thought would suffice his spiritual 
wants. And then, by leave of the bishop, he had gone 
away into the woods, and devoted himself to the solitary 
life in Finchale. 

Buried in the woods and crags of the "Royal Park," as 
it was then called, which swarmed with every kind of 
game, there was a little flat meadow, rough with sweet-gale 
and bramble and willow, beside a teeming salmon-pool. 
Great wolves haunted the woods, but Godrick cared 
nought for them ; and the shingles swarmed with snakes, — 
probably only the harmless collared snakes of wet meadows, 
but reputed, as all snakes are by the vulgar, venomous ; 
but he did not object to become 'Uhe companion of 
serpents and poisonous asps," He handled them, caressed 
them, let them lie by the fire in swarms on winter nights, 
in the little cave which he had hollowed in the ground and 
thatched with turf. Men told soon how the snakes obeye4 
him; how two especially huge ones used to lie twined 
about his legs; till after many years, annoyed by their 
importunity, he turned them all gently out of doors, with 
solemn adjurations never to return, and they, of course, 

His austerities knew no bounds. He lived on roots 
and berries, flowers and leaves ; and when the good folk 
found him out, and put gifts of food near his cell, he 
carried them up to the crags above, and, offering them 
solemnly up to the God who feeds the ravens when they 
call on him, left them there for the wild birds. He 
watched, fasted, and scourged himself, and wore always a 
hair shirt and an iron cuirass. He sat, night after night, 
even in mid-winter, in the cold Wear, the waters of which 
had hollowed out a rock near by into a natural bath, and 
afterwards in a barrel sunk in the floor of a little chapel of 
wattle, which he built and dedicated to the blessed' Virgia 


Lives of tlie Saints. 

[May ar,. 

Mary. He tilled a scrap of ground, and ate the grain from 
it, mingled with ashes. He kept his food till it was 
decayed before he tasted it ; and led a life, the records of 
which fill the reader with astonishment, not only at the 
man's iron strength of will, but at the iron strength of the 
constitution which could support such hardships, in such a 
climate, for a single year. 

A strong and healthy man must Godrick have been, to 
judge from the accounts (there are two, both written by 
eye-witnesses) of his personal appearance — 2l man of great 
breadth of chest and strength of arm ; black-haired, hook- 
nosed, deep-browed, with flashing grey eyes; altogether a 
personable and able man, who might have done much 
work and made his way in many lands. But what his 
former life had been he would not tell. 

The prologue to the Harleian manuscript (which the 
learned editor, Mr. Stevenson, believes to be an early 
edition of Reginald's own composition) confesses that 
Reginald, compelled by Ailred of Rievaulx, tried in vain 
for a long while to get the hermit's story from him. 

"You wish to write my life?" he said. "Know then 
that Godrick's life is such as this : — Godrick, at first a gross 
rustic, an unclean liver, an usurer, a cheat, a perjurer, a 
flatterer, a wanderer, pilfering and greedy; now a dead 
flea, a decayed dog, a vile worm; not a hermit, but a 
hypocrite; not a solitary, but a gad-about in mind; a 
devourer of alms, dainty over good things, greedy and 
negligent, lazy and snoring, ambitious and prodigal, one 
who is not worthy to serve others, and yet every day beats 
and scolds those who serve him ; this, and worse than this, 
you may write of Godrick." "Then he was silent as one 
indignant," says Reginald, "and I went off in some coit- 
iusion," and the grand old man was left to himself and to 
his God. 

^layaz.] S. Godriclc. 325 

The ecclesiastical Boswell dared not mention the subject 
again to his hero for several years, though he came often 
from Durham to visit him, and celebrate mass for him in 
his little chapel. After some years, however, he approached 
the matter again, and the old man began to answer questions* 
iind Reginald delighted to listen and note down till he ha J 
finished, he says, that book of his life and miracles -^ and 
after a while brought it to the saint, and falling on li!s 
knees, begged him to bless, in the name of God, and for 
the benefit of the faithful, the deeds of a certain religious 
man, who had suffered much for God in this h'fe, which he 
(Reginald) had composed accurately. The old man per- 
ceived that he himself was the subject, blessed the book 
with solemn words, and bade Reginald conceal it till his 
death, warning him that a time would come when he 
should suffer rough and bitter things on account of that 
book, from those who envied him. That prophecy, says 
Reginald, came to pass; but how, or why, he does not 

The story which Godrick told was wild and beautiful ; 
and though we must not depend too much on the accuracy 
of the old man's recollections, or on the honesty of 
Reginald's report, who would naturally omit all incidents 
which yrere made against his hero's perfection, it is worth 
listening to, as a vivid sketch of the doings of a real 
human being, in that misty distance of the Early Middle 

He was bom, he said, at Walpole, in Norfolk, on the 
eld Roman sea-bank, between the Wash and the deep 
Fens. His father's name was iEdlward; his mother's, 
iEdwen — "the Keeper of Blessedness," and **the Friend 
of Blessedness," as Reginald translates them — ^poor and 

'The earlier one; that of the Harlc-ai MSS, which (Mr. Stevenson thinks 
was twice afterwards expanded and decorated by him. 

326 Lives of the Saints. [May 21. 

pious folk ; and, being a sharp boy, he did not take to* 
field-work, but preferred wandering the Fens as a pedlar, 
first round the villages, then, as he grew older, to castles 
and to towns, buying and selling — ^what, Reginald does not 
tell us : but we should be glad to know. 

One day he had a great deliverance. Wandering along; 
the great tide-flats near Spalding and the old Well-stream,. 
n search of waifs and strays, of wreck or eatables, he saw 
three porpoises stranded far out upon the banks. Two were 
alive, and the boy took pity on them (so he said) and let 
them be : but one was dead, and off it (in those days poor 
folk ate anything) he cut as much flesh and blubber as he 
could carry, and toiled back towards the high-tide mark. 
But whether he lost his way among the banks, or whether 
he delayed too long, the tide came in on him up to his 
knees, his waist. Lis chin, and at last, at times, over his 
head. The boy made the sign of the cross, and struggled 
on valiantly a full mile through the sea, like a brave lad, 
never loosening his hold of the precious porpoise-meat till 
he reached the shore at the very spot from which he had 
set out 

As he grew, his pedlar journeys became longer. Repeat- 
ing to himself, as he walked, the Creed and the Lord's 
Prayer — ^his only lore — ^he walked for four years through 
Lindsey; then went to S. Andrew's, in Scotland; after 
that, for the first time, to Rome. Then the love of a 
wandering sea life came on him, and he sailed with his 
wares round the east coasts ; not merely as a pedlar, but 
as a sailor himself, he went to Denmark and to Flanders, 
buying and selling, till he owned (in what port we are not 
told, but probably in L3mn or Wisbeach) half one merchant 
ship, and the quarter of another. A crafty steersman, he 
was, a wise weather-prophet, a shipman stout in body and 
in heart 

May 21.3 6*. GodHck. 327 

But gradually there grew on the sturdy merchantman 
the thought that there was something, more to be done in 
the world than making money. He became a pious man. 
He worshipped at S. Cuthbert's hermitage at Fame, and 
there, he said afterwards, he longed for the first time 
for the rest and solitude of the hermitage. He had been 
sixteen years a seaman now, with a seaman's temptations — 
it may be (as he told Reginald plainly) with some of a 
seaman's vices. He may have done things which lay 
heavy on his conscience. But it was getting time to think 
about his soul. He took the cross, and went oft* to 
Jerusalem, as many a man did then, under difficulties 
incredible, dying, too often, on the way. But Godrick not 
only got safe thither, but went out of his way home by Spain 
to visit the sanctuary of S. James of Compostella. 

Then he appears as steward to a rich man in the Fens, 
whose sons and young retainers, after the lawless fashion 
of those Anglo-Norman times, rode out into the country 
round to steal the peasants' sheep and cattle, skin them on 
the spot, and pass them off to the master of the house as 
venison taken in hunting. They ate and drank, roystered 
and rioted, like most ot':er young Normans ; and vexed 
the staid soul of Godrick, whose nose told him plainly 
enough, whenever he entered the kitchen, that what was 
roasting had never come off a deer. In vain he prot sted 
arid warned thenf?, getting only insults for his pains. At 
last he told his lord. The lord, as was to be expected, 
cared nought about the matter. Let thj lads rob the 
English vi bins : for what other end had th_ir grand fat ers 
conquered the Ian 1 ? Godrick punished himself, as he 
could not punish them, for the unwilling sharj which he 
had had in the wrong. It may be that he, too, had eaten 
of that stolen fjod. So away he went into France, and 
down the Ron^, on pilgrimage to the hermitage of 

328 Lives of the Saints. uia>2x. 

S. Giles, the pa'ron saint of the wild deer ; and then on to 
Rome a second time, ani back to his poor parents in the 

And row fo'lows a strange and beautiful story. All 
love of seafaring and merchandise had left the deep- 
hearted sailor. The heavenly and the eternal, the sal- 
vation of his sinful soul, had become all in all to him ; and 
yet he could no^ rest in the little dreary v llage on the 
Roman bank. He would go on pilgrimage again. Then 
his mother would go likewise, and see S. Peter's church, 
and the pop % and all the wonders of Rome. So off they 
set on foot; and when they came to ford of ditch) 
Gcdrick carried his mother on his back, until they came 
to London town. And there -^dwen took off her shoes, 
and vowed out of devotion to the holy apostles Peter and 
Paul to walk barefoot to Rome and barefoot back again. 

Now just as they went out of London, on the Dover 
road, there met them in the way the loveliest maiden they 
had ever seen, and asked to bear them comp ny in 
pil rimage. And when they agreed, she walked with 
them, sat wit'i them, and talked with th.m with super- 
human courtesy and grace ; and when they turned into an 
inn, she ministered to them herself, and washeJ and 
kissed their feet, and then lay down with them to sleep, 
after the simple fashion of those days. But a holy awe of 
her, as of some Saint or Angel, fell on the wild sea- 
farer ; and he never, so he used to aver, thought of her for a 
moment save as a sist^T. Never did either ask the other 
who' they were, and whence they came ; and Godrick 
repo:ted (but this was long after the event) that no one of 
the company of pilgrims could see that fair maid, save he 
and his m. ther alone. So they came safe to Rome, aid 
back to London town ; and when they were at the place 
outside Southwark, wher * the fair maid had met them first, 

May 21.3 S. Godrick. 329 

she asked permission to leave them, for she "must go to 
her own land, where she had a tabernacle of rest, and 
dwelt in the house of her God." And then, bidding t'rem 
bless God, who had brought them safe over the Alps and 
across the sea, and all along that weary road, she went on 
her way, and they saw her no more. 

Then with this fair mysterious face clinging to his 
memory, and it may be never leaving it, Godrick took his 
mother safe home, and delivered her to his father, and bade 
them both after awhile farewell, and wandered across 
England to Penrith, and hung about the churches there, 
till some kinsmen of his recognised him, and gave him a 
psalter (he must have taught himself to read upon his 
travels), which he learnt by heart Then, wandering ever 
in search of solitude, he went into the woods and found a 
cave, and passed his time therein in prayer, living on green 
herbs and wild honey, acorns and crabs ; and when he 
went about to gather food, he fell down on his knees every 
few yards and said a prayer, and rose and went on. 

After awhile he wandered on a^ain, until at Wolsingham, 
in Durham, he met with another holy hermit, who had 
been a monk at Durham, living in a cave in forests in 
which no man dare dwell, so did they swarm with packs of 
wolves ; and there the two good men dwelt together till 
the old hermit fell sick, and was like to die. Godrick 
nursed him, and sat by him, to watch for his last breath. 
For the same longing had come over him which came over 
Marguerite d'Angoul^me when she sat by the dying bed of 
her favourite maid of honour — to see if the spirit^ when it 
left the body, were visible, and what kind of thing it was : 
whether, for instance, it was really like the little naked 
babe which is seen in mediaeval illuminations flying out of 
the mouths of dying men. But, worn out with watching, 
Godrick could not keep from sleep. All but despairing of 

330 Lives of the Saints. cMayao 

his desire, he turned to the dying man, and spoke, say? 
Reginald, some such words as these : — " O spirit ! who art 
dififus d in that body in the likeness of God, and art still 
inside that breast, I adjure thee by the Highest, that thou 
leave not the prison of this thine habitation while I am 
overcome by sleep, and know not of it." And so he fell 
asleep : but when he woke, the old hermit lay motionless 
and breathless. Poor Godrick wept, called on the dead 
man, called on God; his simple heart was set on seeing 
this one thing. And, behold, he was consoled in a won- 
drous fashion. For about the third hour of the day the 
breath returned. Godrick hung over him, watching his lips. 
Three heavy sighs he drew, then a shudder, another sigh : 
and then (s j Godrick was believed to have said in after 
years) he saw the spirit flit. 

"What it was like, he did not like to say, for the most 
obvious reason — that he saw nothing, and was an honest 
man. A monk teased him much to impart to him this 
great discovery. Godrick answered wisely enough, that 
.**no man could perceive the substance of the spiritual 

Another pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre did Godrick 
make before he went to the hermitage in Eskdale, and 
settled finally at Finchale. And there about the hills of 
Jud3ea he found hermits dweUing in rock-caves as they had 
dwelt since the time of S. Jerome. He washed himser, 
and his hair shirt and little cross, in the sacred waters of 
the Jordan, and returned, after incredible suffering, to 
become the saint of Finchale. 

At Finchale S. Godrick died on the octave of the Ascen- 
sion, May 2ist. This fixes the date of his death as 1179^ 
for in that year Easter Day fell on April 5th. 

His hermitage became, in due time, a stately priory, 
with its community of monks, who loved the memory of 

^fay2I.] .S*. Godrick. 331 

their holy father Godrick. The place is all ruinate now; 
the memory of S. Godrick gone.; and not one in ten 
thousand, perhaps, who visit those crumbling walls beside 
the rushing Wear, has heard of the sailor-saint, and 
his mother, and that fair maid who tended them on their 

332 Lives of the Saints. [May 2a. 

May 22. 

S. Marcian, B. of Ravenna, circ a.d. 12;^. 

SS. Castus and Emilius, MM. in ylfricaf a>d< 210. 

S. Helena, F,at Auxerrty sth cent, 

S. R0MANU8, Mk, at jiutun, 6th cent. 

S' Julia, F.M. in Corsica, 6th or>jth cent, 

S. QuiTERiA, f^.M. at Aire in Gascony. 

S. Agllf, Archb. of Bourges, a.d. 83^. 

S. JULIA, V. M. 

(6th or 7TH CENT.) 

[Roman Martyrology ; also the ancient Roman Martyrology called by 
the name of S. Jerome, Ado, Notker, Usuardus, &c. The Acts, as the 
writer says in his prologue, are derived from tradition.] 

[AINT JULIA was a Christian maiden, a slave 
to a Syrian merchant at Carthage, named 
Eusebius. Her master treated her kmdly, 
having learned to respect her strict integrity 
and diligence in exactly discharging her duties in his 
house. His business having called him from home, he 
took Julia with him; and the vessel anchored off the 
modem Cape Corso of Corsica. Julia and her master went 
on shore, and found that a pagan sacrifice was being offered. 
Julia was invited to share in the festival, but indignantly 
refused, denouncing the sacrifice as idolatrous. Upon this 
she was dragged before the ruler Felix, who had her 
beaten on the mouth and then crucified. Her body was 
carried to the island of Gorgone, whence it was transported 
to Brescia by Ariza, wife of Didier, king of the Lombards, 
who built a magnificent church to contain it. 

May 22. S, Quiteria, 335 

(date unknown.) 

[Unknown to all the ancient Martyrologists. But cla'med by the later 
Spanish, Portuguese, and G-iUican Martyrologists. Her acts are alto- 
gether fabulous, being taken, from the fabulous story of Queen Calsia, the 
\i\it of King Catillias, who bore nine daughters at a birth, and, being 
afraid of what her husband would say, gave the babes to the nurse to 
drown. The nurse, being a Christian, brought them up as her own, and 
instructed them in the true faith. In time of persecution by King Catillias, 
the nine virgins separated, and, after meeting with various adventures, 
suffered martyrdom in different places. The old wives' tale has been 
adopted by Tamayus Salazar, and all these nine virgin martyrs have 
been given a place by him in the Spanish Martyrology, on Jan x8th. The 
Acts of S. Quiteria are an excerpt from this religious romance. The 
names of places, as of people in it, are all of romantic origin, no such places 
ever existed. The names of some of the sisters are like Quiteria, of 
Gothic origin, Doda, Genivera, Wilgefortis. Her body is claimed by the 
Spaniards, Portuguese, and was also by the cathedral of Aire in Gascony, 
before the French Revolution.] 

The following is the story of S. Quiteria from the 
Breviary of the diocese of Bordeaux ; it is founded on the 
fable above referred to, the name of the king and- his 
capital being judiciously omitted, Quiteria was the 
daughter of a prince of Galicia in Spain. Baptized with- 
out her father's knowledge, she early dedicated her virginity 
to God. Her father sought to make her marry, but she 
fled from home and took refuge in the solitary valley of 
*' Aufragia." Here she was found by some soldiers sent 
after her by the king, and her head was struck off, by his 
orders, as she refused to return and accept the hand of the 
prince he had chosen for her, ' 

234 Lives of the Saints. CMay 23. 

May 28. 

S EuPUFBins, ff. 9f Haptts, yd cent, 

^'. Dbsi'^krius, B.M,, at Langm^ in. France, eirc. a.d. 407. 

£. EuiYCHiu«, Jib , and Florentius, Mk., at Nursia, circ» a.d. ^40 

and 547. 
:S. DcsioKRius, B.M., at Fienne in France, a.d 6c8. 
S. William or Rochester, M., in England, 
B. John Baptist de Rossi, C at Rome, a.d. 1764. 


(about A.D. 407.) 

[Roman and Gallican Martyrologie;. Usuardus and Ado. Authority : — 
An account by Wamaharius, priest of Langres in the 7th cent J 

[AINT DESIDERIUS, whose name is corrapted 
in French into Didier; in Champagne into 
Dizier; in Languedoc and Italy into Deseri 
and Drezeri, and in Flanders into Desir, was a 
native of Genoa. He is supposed to have assisted at the 
Council of Cologne in 346, as Bishop of Langres; but this 
must have been another Desiderius, or he must have. been 
•extremely aged when he died. The Vandal incursion into 
the Champagae in 406 filled him with distress, and he went 
ito the Vandal king, Croco, to implore his clemency towards 
the poor people of his diocese. The king, instead of lis- 
tening to him, gave him to some of his soldiers to despatch, 
And he was executed with the sword. The blood spirted 
over his book of the Gospels which he held before his eyes 
<vhen he received the fatal stroke. 

Mayaa-r ^S*. Dcsiderius of Vienne. 335 


(A.D. 608.) 

[IRoman and Gallican Martyrologies. Authority :— A life by a contem- 

The famous Brunehaut had fled from the kingdom of the 
elder of her royal grandchildren, Theodebert of Austrasia, 
and had taken refuge with the younger, Thierri, king cf 
Burgundy. She ruled the realm by the ascendency of that 
strong and unscrupulous mind which for more than forty 
years raised her into a rival of the yet more famous Fre- 
degunda, her rival in the number of murders which she. 
committed. She ruled the king through his vices. Thierri 
had degenerated, like the rest of the race of Clovis, from 
the old Teutonic virtues, and plunged headlong into Roman 
licence. In vain his subjects had attempted to wean him 
from his countless mistresses by a marriage with the daughter 
of the Visigothic king. Neglected, mortified, persecuted 
by the arts of Brunehaut, the unhappy princess returned 
home. Desiderius, or Didier, Bishop of Vienne, came 
boldly forward and rebuked the incontinence of Thierri 
and his ill-usage of his wife. Brunehaut had no mind to 
see the king wakened from his lethargy and take the reins 
of government from her hands, and resenting the conduct 
of S. Desiderius, she sent three assassins to waylay him on 
his return and murder him. They attacked him with stones 
and killed him at Prissignac, in the principality of Dombes, 
afterwards called Saint-Didier de Chalarone. 

336 Lives of the Saints. i^fay*^ 

(date uncertain.) 

[ Anglicin Martyrologies. Authority : —A life by Thomas of Monmouthr 
a monk who flourished about zz6o, inserted ia Capgrave. ProbaUy the 
date of S. William is the early part of th: same century.] 

S. William was a baker at Perth, who in his early life 
lived a careless and godless life, but afterwards changed and 
became a model of virtue, as a good father of a household. 
Of every ten loaves he baked he gave one to the poor. 
One morning early as he went to mass he found a little 
babe crying on the door-step of the church. He took the 
poor child up, had it baptized by the name of David, and 
brought it up as his own. The foundling grew up to man's 
estate, and obtained the nickname of Cockerman, which ^ 
says the mediaeval author, is the Scottish for foundling. 
But the kindness of the good baker was ill-repaid by David 
Cockerman, whose heart was full of envy and spite, 
and he looked with jealousy on the children of the 
baker. When William was well advanced in years, he 
resolved to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and he chose 
only David to be his companion. All went smoothly for 
some time. But wicked thoughts were working in the 
foundling's mind. He wearied of the journey, and 
determined to rob his adopted father and live independently 
away from Scotland, and the remembrance of his condition. 
In the meantime every day saw William's purse grow 
lighter. At last, when they had reached Rochester, David 
Cockerman resolved to murder and rob the baker without 
further delay. As they left the city, he led William into a 
narrow lane, and dropping behind him, felled him with a 
hatchet, took his purse and ran away. As miracles were 
wrought when the body was brought into Rochester, the 
people concluded he was a saint, and he received general 
veneration in the diocese. 

May 24.1 ^y. Vincent of Lerins. 337 

May 24. 

S, Joanna, thb wife of Chusa, Herod* s steward at Jerusalem^ tst 

cent, ^ 
S. M iNAEN, Praphit at Antioch, tst cent** 
S. Afra, Af. at Brescia in Italy, circ a.d. 133. 
SS. DoNATiAN AND RoGATiAN, BROTHERS, MAT. at Nantes, elre, 

A.D> 2S6. 

S. Vincent of L~rins, P. Mk, in Provence, circ, a.d. 445. 
S. Simeon Stylites, the Younger, H. near Antioch, a.d. 596. 
S. Meletius and Comp., MM,^ 
B. John de Prado, M. in Morocco, a.d. z636. 


(about A.D. 445.) 

[Roman Martyrology ; inserted by Baronius from the first edition of 
Molanus, but on what authority Molanus attributed this day to S. Vincent 
of Lerins is unknown, and Molanus omitted him in his subsequent editions 
of his additions to Usuardus. Peter de Natalibus places S. Vincent on 
Juneist. Authority :—Gennadius of Marseilles (d. 492), "De virisillus- 

[HAT God has given man a free-will; that God 
has made man for perfect happiness ; that perfect 
happiness is only to be attained by the will of 
man freely according with the will of Go<J ; 
that the will of maa is weakened by the Fall; that to 

' S. Luke viii. 3 ; xxUi. 49, ^6; Roman Martyrology. By the Greeks on the and 
Sunday after Easter is the Commemoration of Joseph the Just and the holy 
woman who anointed Christ's body, , 

' Acts xiii., Roman Martyrology. 

3 The Acts are so utterly fabulous that it is impossible to make out where and 
when these martyrs saflFered, if they ever existed. There were some 252 of them, 
and whca slain they suddenly vanished, and no trace of their bodies could be 
detected. The Acts inform us that they suffered under the Roman emperor 
Antoninus, who was struck dead by lightning, and his successor, the Emperor 
Leo. VV hen the p ace of these emperors in history has been tixed, we may deter* 
mine the date of these martyrs. ... 

VOL. V. 22 

338 Lives of the Saints. cM^y^ 

remedy this weakness, God provides man with grace to 
strengthen him to foUow the wiU of God ; that to obtain 
happiness man must will to serve God \ and that his will 
without grace is unable to attain this end ;— such is the 
Catholic doctrine of Predestination and Grace. It will be 
seen that the slightest disturbance of the equilibrium 
destroys the doctrine, and makes man's will all-sufficient, 
or makes God's grace overmaster man's wilL But if Grace 
be so powerful, then God is destroying His own work, He 
is obliterating man's free-will and reducing him to the 
level of a beast or a plant Either exaggeration is heresy. 
To make man's will all-sufficient without the co-operation 
of Grace is Pelagianism, to make God's grace absolute is 
Calvinism. The vehemence wherewith tJ^sole sufficiency 
of man's free-will was asserted by the PeNs^ans led S. 
August ne to dwell with force on the power of iVace. In 
some passages he possibly employed language cap^^^ ^^* 
dangerous interpretation. In his time there was no ^^ ^^ 
its being misunderstood. But it has since been claSl^ 
in support of one of the heresies most fatally numbing t&t 
the conscience which the world has produced. The 
Calvinist and Jansenist doctrine of predestinarianismi 
makes man powerless in the hands of God to will 
or to refuse. If God wills, Grace sweeps man away 
to heaven, however indifferent or restive his will may 
be. Man's free-will is annihilated. 

The truth may thus be fairly stated : Grace without the 
ce-operation of man's free-will is inoperative to effect his . 
salvation; and man's free-will without the assistance of 
Grace is powerless to obtain salvation. To exaggerate the 
power of free-will, or the function of Grace, is to lapse into 

While the West in general bowed before the command- 
ing authority of S. Augustine ; trembled and shrank froni 

May 2,.] S. Vincent of Lerms. 339 

»l ■*■■■-■■ I ■■ ■ ■■ 1^ WM^— 1.»^^— ■■ ■■■!■■ ■■ ■ . ■ I 111 I ^^m^^^^^^,^^^^^^^^^^ 

any opinion which might even seein to limit the sovereignty 
of Go !, semi-Pelagianism arose in another quarter, and 
under diflfcrent auspices. This school grew up among t'.ie 
monasteries in the south of France. Among its partisans 
were some of the most eminent bishops of that province. 
The most distinguished, if not the first founder, of this 
Gallic semi-Pelagianism was the monk St John Cassian. He 
probably saw that the predestinarianism of Augustine was 
being exaggerated by his disciples into a fatalism destruc- 
tive of all human independence. It is the habit of inferior 
minds to exaggerate the teaching of their master, and the 
exaggeration of any one doctrine of Christianity to the 
obscuration or denial of the correlative truth is heresy^ 
Against this Cassian arose. He may have somewhat 
exaggerated the independence of the human will, but his 
teaching was not much beyond Molinism, the accredited 
doctrine on free-will and Grace in the Western Church at 
the present day. 

Semi-Pelagianism aspired to hold the balance between 
Pelagius and Augustine ; to steer a safe and middle course 
between the abyssas into which each, on either side, had 
plunged. It emphatically repudiated the heresy of 
Pelagius in the denial of original sin ; it asserted Divine 
Grace, but refused to accept the system of Augustine, 
which seemed to harden the grace of God into an iron 
necessity. But on one point it took up untenable ground. 

The semi-Pelagians taught that Grace, as a general rule, 
was dependent on a pre-existing will in man to obtain sUva- 
ton, whereas the Catholic d)ctrine is that the will must 
receive its first incentive from God. It is God who stimu- 
lates the will, and then leaves man by an act of free-will to 
resist or to concur with Grace, to reject Grace to enable it 
to advance, or to seek it for that purpose. 

Prosper, a layman of Riez, a vehement Augustinian, 

340 Lives of the Saints. \^^y%w 

wrote against the semi-Pelagians, in answer to a series of 
objections raised against Augustinianism by a certain 
Vincent of Lerins, who, he said, had misrepresented Pre- 
destinarianism. In the same year, 434, Vincent brought 
out his famous " Commonitory/' which was designed to b2 
a preservative "against the profane novelties of all heretics.'^ 
The general principle of this famous book, to whose 
author one opinion would ascribe the Quicunque vult, is 
well known ; the formula in which he states the Catholic 
rule of Scriptural interpretation has taken its place among 
ecclesiastical proverbs.^ 

It has been doubted whether the Vincent of Lerins who 
wrote the "Commonitorium" is the Vincent of Lerins 
venerated this day, but on no adequate grounds. He was 
a Gaul by birth, bom probably at Toul. S. Eucherius of 
Lyons says that he was the brother of Lupus of Troyes, 
but Gennadius does not say this. He first followed a 
military career, but abandoned arms to retire to the island 
of Lerins, the monastic metropolis of Provence, as Lindis- 
farne was the religious capital of Northumbria. He was 
ordained priest, and charged with the education of Salonus 
and Veran, sons of S. Eucherius. He died about the 
y6ar 445. 

* "Curandum est ut id teneamus, ()iiod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus 
crcditumest;" c. 3. 

Mayaij ^ S. Urban /. 341 

May 26. 

SS. Mary tbb Mother of James, and Mary the wife of S..lomb» 

At ArUst ut cent,^ 
S* Urban I., Pope At, at Rome, a.d. 230. 
S. Pasicratbs and Valbxtio^ mm, at Dotostorlum in Bulgaria, 
S. Cantio, J.C. in AJuea, 
SS. Maximus and Vbnbrandu^ Brothers, MM. at jtcquigny, in tht 

diocese of Evreux, 
S. D10NY8IUS, B, tf Milan, before a.d. 350. 
SS. Injuriosus, C, and his wife Scholastica, in Jwuergnet circ, 

A.D. 388. 
S. Zenobics, B, of Ftorenee, $th cent, 
S. Leo, Ab, at Troyes, in France, 6th cent. 
S. Boniface IV., Pope of Rome, a.d. 61 j. 
S. Aldhilm, B. of Sherborne, tn Dorsetshire, a. 0.709. 
S. Gregory VII,, Pope of Rome,'A,D, loSj. 
S. Mary Magdalen dz Pazzi, 0,M,C, at Florence, a.d« zSof. 

(a,d. 230.) 

[Roman Martyrology ; the sacramentary of S. Gregory the Great, Bede, 
XJsuardus, Ado, Notker, &c. Authority : — The Acts in the catalogue of 
Roman Pontiffs, written by the Roman Church Notaries. This catalogue 
appears to have been drawn up f>y orders of S. Anterius, pope (d. 235), 
and to have been continued by S. Damasu^:. Other Acts exist, but they 
:are amplified with marvels which do not exist in the more authentic Acts 
"written apparently at the time, or shortly after the time, of the martyrdom .J 

[AINT URBAN I. was a Roman by birth ; he 
was chosen to fill the vacant see of S. Peter on 
the death of S. Calixtus I. in 223. Under the 
Emperor Alexander and his mother Mammaea, 
the Church had rest from general persecutions ; but the 
:govemors and magistrates were able to carry on the war 
4igainst Christianity by means of indirect accusations. 
Under such an accusation S. Urban was drawn from the 

1 See April 9th, Mary the wife of Cleopas. 

342 Lives of i fie Saints. cMay»^ 

catacomb in which he was hiding with two priests and 
three deacons, and was brought before the prefect of the 
city, named Turcius Almachius. He was accused of 
having stirred up sedition, and being the cause of the 
martyrdoms in the previous reign. "Five thousand fell in 
that p2rsecution, and thou, wretch, wast the cause of their 
destruction !" said Ahuachius. The charge showed in^ 
genuity, certainly. Another accusation brought against 
him was that he had received all the vast possessions of S. 
Cecilia, which had been confiscated to the State ; and he 
was ordered at once to deliver them up. "All has been 
distr buted among the poor," said Urban. 

He was beaten and then cast into prison, where he 
converted his jailor Anulinus (May i8th), and on May 
25th, after Almachius had vainly endeavoured to extort 
the wealth of S. Cecilia from him, he was executed with 
the sword. 


(uncertain date.) 

[By the Greeks on April 24th. Roman Martyrology, Usuardus, Ado,. 
Notker, on May 25th. Authority :— The account in the Menaea.] 

SS. Pasicrates and Valentio were soldiers, natives of 
Rhodostolus, or Dorostolus, the modem Silistria in Bul- 
garia. They were discovered to be Christians, and were 
brought before the praetor Pappian. The brother of Pasi- 
crates came weeping to him, imploring him to yield to the 
wishes of the magistrate, and worship the idjls. Then 
Pasicrates walked to the altar of Jove, wh«re a fire was. 
burning, thrust his hand in among the red-hot coals, and 
said, "Thou seest my mortal flesh is consumed in this fire, 
but my soul is free, and cannot be hurt by any torment 

May 353 SS. MaxifKUS Uficl Veneraudus. 343 

man can devise ; my soul is constant, destined to immortal 
life." Then he and Valentio were ordered to have their 
heads stricken off with an axe. Pasicrates was aged 
twenty-two, and Valentio thirty years, when they suffered. 


(about A.D. 512.) 

[Gallican Martyrologies. Greatly venerated in the diocese of Evreux. 
Authority :— The legend of these saints contained in the Evreux Breviary 
is altogether untrustworthy. It makes the saints leave Italy because per- 
secution was raging, in the reign ot the Emperor Valentinian the Younger, 
and his mother Placida. They are sent to preacti his faith by S. Damasus. 
At this time Vitalius and Sabinus were consuls, we are told. They come 
to Evreux, where S. Eternus is bishop. Now let us see how these points 
of the story agree with history. Valentinian the Younger began to reign 
with his mother Placida in 425. S. Damasus was created pope in 365. 
Here is an interval of fifty-nine years. The consuls, Vitalius and Sabinus, 
never were consuls together. There was a consul of the name of Vitellius, 
in the year following our Lord's death, and consuls of the name of Sabinus 
in the reigns of Domitian and Caracalla. By these consuls they are tried 
and tortured for being Christians, in the reign of a Christian emperor ! 
and then, flying from persecution, are martyred in Gaul, after having 
visited S. Germanus of Auxerre (d. 448), and S. Lupus of Troves (d. 479). 
The consul Sabinus, however, marches out of Italy after the runaways at 
the head of an army. The Seine opens to let the saints pass, but rolls 
back and drowns those of the pursuers who went in after them into the 
bed of the river. However, three days after, Sabinus overtakes them and 
kills them in the island formed by the confluence of the river Eute and 
Iton, near Acquigny. S. Eternus, who buries their bodies, occurs in the 
lists of the bishops of Evreux as dying in 512. The geographical blunders 
are as gross as the anachronisms.] 

' 344 Lives of the Saints. [Maya^. 


(CIRC. A.D. 500.) 

[Gallican Martyrologies. Venerated in Auvergne. where they are 
called "Z.« deux Amants,** the two lovers* Authority :—S. Gregory of 
Tours in his book De Gloria Confessorum, c. 32. and in his Historia 
Francorum, lib. i., c. 41.] 

In Auvergne lived a youth named Injuriosus, who was 
married to a fair young girl called Scholastica. Now when 
the bridal feast was over, and the bridal torches were 
extinguished, he went to the marriage chatnber, and he 
found her lying on her bed with her face to the wall, softly 
crying. He asked her the cause of her tears, and hesitatingly 
she told him that she had been happy as a simple girl, and she 
shrank from the cares and obligations of her new condition. 
"Be to me but a dearly loved brother rather than a 
husband,'' she said, and he kissed her, and took her hand 
in his, and promised that so it should be. So they lived 
many years together, in the tenderest respect and love to 
one another. At length Scholastica died, and was taken 
to the church to be buried ; then, as she lay in the vault, 
ere the stone slab was laid down over her, Injuriosus stood 
contemplating the dear face, and he lifted hii hands and 
said, " I thank Thee, O Eternal Father, that Thou didst 
give me this treasure. And now I give her back to Thee, 
pure as she came to me." And all who looked down into 
the grave, thought that the dead maiden smiled. So they 
closed the vault, and Injuriosus went to his home, now 
desolate and silent, and there his heart broke, and a few 
days after he was carried forth. 

"They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in 
death they were not divided.'* The husband was laid on 
the opposite side of the church to his wife, and the church 
was closed for the night before the slab was mortared 

wayaM S. Bonifoce IV. 345 

•down. Next morning the body was gone, and when 
search was made for it, the dead Injuriosus was found with 
his arms crossed on his breast, lying beside his dear wife 
Scholastica in her grave. 


(A.D. 615.) 
tRoman Martyrology. Authority :-*Aoastasius Bibliochecaritts. 

Boniface IV., a Marsian, of the city of Valeria, the son 
of a physician, is celebrated for the conversion of the 
Pantheon into a Christian Church. With the sanction of 
the Emperor Phocas, this famous temple in which were 
assembled all the gods of the Roman world, was purified 
and dedicated on Sept 15th, 608, to the Blessed Virgin Mary 
and all the martyrs. He also turned his own house into a 
monastery. Having convoked a council of all the bishops 
of Italy, measures were taken for the restoration of ancient 
discipline which had fallen into abeyance. 

Mellitus, Bishop of London, who was then in Rome, 
about the affairs of the English Church, is said to have 
been present at this council, and to have carried back its 
decrees, together with the letters of Boniface, to England. 
Nothing further is known of the pontiff. 

346 Lives of the Saints. [May a^ 


(a.d, 709.) 

[Roman and Anglican Martyr ologies. His translation on March 31st. 
Authorities :— A life by William of Malmesbury, written towards the middle 
of the i2th century; another life written in the latter years of the nth' 
century, by Faricius, a foreign monk of Malmesbury, who became abbot of 
Abingdon in iioo, and died in 11 17. A copy of the first is preserved in 
MS., Cotton., Claudius A. v., written in the 12th cent. ; fuller copies have 
been printed by Wharton and Gale from very modern MSS. Bede, though 
he speaks of the w6rks of Aldhelm in terms of admiration, gives a very brief 
account of him. Malmesbury had before him a kind of common-place 
book written by King AKred, which he quotes more than once for circum- 
stances relating to Aldhelm, who seems to have b^en a favourite writer with 
that great monarch. Faricius says that there were, among the materials 
he used, some English documents, which he, as an Italian, calls "barbarlce 

Aldhelm \Yas born in Wessex, about the year 656. His 
father's name was Kenter, a near kinsman of King Ina ; 
but a comparison of the dates is enough to show that 
Aldhelm was not, as Faricius states, King Ina's nephew. 
When but a boy {pusio), Aldhelm was sent to Adrian, abbot 
of Canterbury (Jan. 9), and soon excited the wonder 
even of his teachers by his progress in the st dy of Latin 
and Greek. When somewhat more advanced in years 
(majusculus)y he returned to his native land of Wessex. 

Near the beginning of the same century, an Irish monk 
named Maeldhu, which the Anglo-Saxons transformed into 
Meildulf, a voluntary exile from the land of his nativity, 
had taken up his abode among the solitudes of the vast 
forests which then covered the north-eastern districts of 
Wiltshire. He seems to have formed himself a cell amongst 
the ruins of an ancient British town. Maeldhu, after 
living for a short time as a hermit, found it necessary to 
secure for himself a less precarious subsistence by instruct- 
ing the youths of the neighbouring districts ; and thus the 
hermitage became gradually a seat of learning, and continued 

Mayaj.] S. Aldkelm. 347 

to be inhabited by Maeldhu's scholars after his death. 
People gave to the place the name of Meildulfes-byrig^ 
which, softenejd down into Malraesbury, it still retains. 

After his return to Wessex, Aldhelm joined this com- 
munity of scholars, in imitation of whom he embraced the 
monastic life. His stay was not, however, of long duration ; 
he made a second visit to Kent, and continued to attend 
the school of S. Adrian, until sickness compelled him to re- 
visit the country of the West Saxons. He again sought the 
greenwood shades of Malmesbury ; and after a lapse of tliree 
years he wrote a letter to his old master Adrian, describing 
the studies in which he was' occupied, and pointing out the 
difficulties which he still encountered. This was in 680. 
From being the companion of the monks in their studies. 
Aldhelm soon became their teacher; and his reputation 
for learning spread so rapidly that the small society he 
had formed at Malmesbury was increased by scholars from 
France and Scotland. He is said to have been able to 
write and speak Greek, to have been fluent in Latin, and 
able to read the Old Testament in Hebrew. At this period 
the monks and scholars appear to have formed only a 
voluntary association, held together by similarity of pursuits 
and the fame of their teacher; and they do not appear to 
have been subjected to rules. How long they continued 
to live in this manner is uncertain ; at a subsequent period, 
either at their own solicitation, or by the will of the West 
Saxon monarch and the bishop, they were formed into a 
regular monastery, and Aldhelm was appointed their abbot 
(circ. A.D. 683).^ 

Under Aldhelm the abbey of Malmesbury continued 
long to be the seat of piety as well as learning, and was 

^ A charter by Lentherius exists authorizing the foundation and appointing 
Aldhelm as its abbot, dated according to William of Malmesbury 67^, accordini; 
to the Malmesbury Chronicle 680 ; but it is almost certainly a forgery. S«e 
Wrig-it : Biographia Brit. Literaria, I. p. 2X3« 

348 Lives of tlie Saints. iMaya^ 

enriched with many gifts by the West-Saxon kings and 
nobles. Its abbot founded smaller houses at Frome and 
Bradford, in the neighbourhood. At Malmesbury he found 
a small but ancient church, then in ruins ; this he rebuilt 
or repaired, and dedicated it to SS. Peter and Paul, in that 
age the favourite saints of the Anglo-Saxons. His biogra- 
phers have preserved the verses which Aldhelm cpmposed 
to celebrate its consecration. 

Aldhelm may be considered the father of Anglo Latin 
poetry. But he also composed in Anglo-Saxon. King 
Alfred placed him in the first rank of the vernacular poets 
of his country; and we learn from William of Malmesbury, 
that, even so late as the 12th century, some ballads he had 
composed continued to be popular. To be a poet, it was 
then necessary to be a musician also; and Aldhelm's 
biographers assure us that he excelled on all the different 
instruments then in use, the fiddle and the pipes, &c. 
Long after he became abbot of Malmesbury, he appears to 
have devoted much of his leisure to music and poetry. 
King Alfred entered into his note-book an anecdote which 
is peculiarly characteristic of the age, and which probably 
belongs to the period that preceded the foundation of the 
abbey. Aldhelm observed with pain that the peasantry, 
instead of assisting as the monks sung mass, ran about from 
house to house gossipping, and could hardly be persuaded to 
attend to the exhortations of the preacher. He watched 
the occasion, and stationed himself in the character of a 
minstrel on the bridge over which the people had to pass, 
and soon collected a crowd of hearers, by the beauty of 
his verse. When he found that he had gained possession of 
their attention, he gradually introduced, among the popular 
ballads he was reciting to them, words of a more serious 
nature, till at length he succeeded in impressing upon their 
mmds a truer feeling of religious devotion ; "Whereas if," 

May2j.] S. Aldhelm. 349 

as William of Malmesbury observes, " he had proceeded 
with severity and excommunication^ he would have made 
no impression whatever upon them/'^ 

Few details of the latter part of Aldhelm's life have 
been preserved. We know that his reputation continued 
to be extensive. After he had been made abbot of 
Malmesbury, he received an invitation from Pope Sergius I. 
to visit Rome, and he is supposed to have accompanied 
Coedwalla, king of the West Saxons, who was baptized by 
that pope, and died at Rome in 689. Whether this be 
true, or not, Aldhelm's visit to Rome cannot be placed 
earlier than 688, because Sergius had been raised to the 
papal chair only in the December of the preceding year. 

Aldhelm did not long remain at Rome. In 692, he 
appears, from his ' letter on the subject quoted by his 
biographers, to have taken part to a certain degree, though 
not very decidedly, with S. Wilfred, in his great controversy 
against the Keltic usages of the Northumbrian Church, 
Soon after this, we find him employed in the dispute about 
the celebration of Easter with the Britons of Cornwall. A 
synod was called by King Ina, about 693, to attempt a, 
reconciliation between the remains of the ancient British 
Church in the extreme west with the Anglo-Saxon Church, 
jlnd Aldhelm was appointed to write a letter on the subject 

' In after times Stephen Langton did something of the same sort. He san? a 
dancin^v-song and then moralized on it as his text. The sermon is preserved rh 
the British Museum This was the song, somewhat modernized in spelling : — 

*' Beile Alez matin leva 
Son corp9 vesti et para 
Enz un verger s'en entra. 
Cinq fleurettes y trouva. 
Up chapelet fit en a 

de rose fleurie 
Par Oieu trahez vous en la 

vous hint aimez mie." 
The mediaeval preacher Maillard did much the same thing when preaching at 
Toulouse, singling at the top of his voice as a text the ballad <*Bcrgeronette 

350 Lives of tite Saints. [Maya^-. 

to Geraint, king of Cornwall, which is still preserved. 
We hear nothing further of the abbot of Malmesbury till 
the year 705, when, on the death of Hedda, the bishopric 
of Wessex was divided into two dioceses, of which one, 
that of Sherborne, was given to S. Aldhelm, who appears 
to have been allowed to retain at the same time the abbacy, 
and the other, Winchester, to one named Daniel. 

Four years afterwards he died at Dilton, near Westbury, 
in Wiltshire, on the 25th May, 709^ His body was carried 
to Malmesbury, where it was buried in the presence of 
Egwin, bishop of Worcester. 

S. Aldhelm was not a voluminous writer. The works 
which alone have given celebrity to his name, are his two 
treatises on Virginity and his .^nigmata. It is impossible 
to admire their style. Even so far back as the 12 th century, 
William of Malmesbury felt himself obliged to offer an 
apology for him, grounded on the taste of that age in which 
he lived. "The Greek language is involved, the Roman 
splendid, and the English pompous," is Malmesbur/s 
account of the characteristics of these three languages. 
Certainly Aldhelm made English pomposity transpire 
through the splendour of Latin, which he involved like 


(A.D. 1085.) 

[Roman Martyrology. into which his name was introduced in 1584 by 
Gregory XIII. His translation, May 4th. Authorities :— His life by 
Paul Bemried, canon of Ratisbon (d, 1120) ; also the annals of Lambert of 
Hersfeld or of Aschaffenburg (1077. ) A life by Nicolas, cardinal of Aragon 
(d. 136a) ; another ot Pandolf of Pisa, (circ, xi3a) Benzo, bishtpof Alba, 
Panegyricus rhythm. In Henricum IV., a violent opponent, the Epistles 
of Gregory, himself. Bonizo, bishop of Sutri, Sigebert of Glembours and 
other historians of the time.] 

It is impossible in the brief compass of such an article 

May 25.) S. Gregory VI I. 35 j 

as can here be devoted to Gregory VII., to give in any- 
thing like fulness the life of a man, whose history is that of 
contemporary Europe. 

Gregory was a man whom many modern historians have 
misunderstood. He has been exhibited to the detestation 
of mankind as a monster of ambition and priestly arrogance. 
That his acts savoured of harshness, and that, on more 
occasions than one, he fell into fatal mistakes, can scarcely 
be disputed, but we read his character wrong if we attribute 
his actions to such mean motives as ambition or arrogance. 
From first to last, Hildebrand was governed by zeal for the 
glory of God, and the purification of the Church, and to 
him the only means that lay open for effecting his purpose, 
was the complete emancipation of the Church firom the 
&tal subserviency into which it had been brought by the 
well-intentioned but dangerous precedents adopted by the 
Emperor Henry III., at a time when the papacy had fallen 
into the lowest depths of degradation, and when only the 
interference of the secular arm could lift its glory out of 
the mire. 

Upon the death of John XVIII. in 1033, so little regard 

gdid his brother, the Count of Tusculum, then all potent in 

Rome, deem it necessary to pay to appearances, that he 

•directed the election and consecration of his son, Theophy- 

lact, a boy of ten or twelve years old, to the chair of S. 

Feter.^ The unhappy youth was consecrated under the 

;title of Benedict IX., and soon exemplied the unfitness of 

the selection by the giddy and precipitous manner in which, 

as soon as his years admitted it, he plunged into every 

-species of debauchery and crime.^ At length, as if deter- 

> " Pner fenn« decennis.'*— /{oJoJ/ Glabtr, '* Ordinatus quidam puer annorum 
o^circlter duodecim contra jus, fasqoe, quern sc^iet sola pecunia auri et argenti 
plus cotnmendavit, quam setas aut sanctitas." — tbiU, 

* "Cujus Tita quam turpis, quam foeda, qtiamque execranda extlterit, horresco 
referre."->A1c/cr ///. Dialog, *' Post multa torpta adulteria et homicidia manibus 
fluis perpetrata, postremo/' Scc-^Bonine, 

352 Lives of the Saints. cMay.^, 

mined to outrage public feeling to the utmost, he had the 
madness to think of manying his first cousin. The father 
of the damsel refused to permit tlie marriage unless Bene- 
dict should resign the throne of S. Peter. The young pope 
sold the papacy to the arch-priest John Gratian, and con- 
secrated him with his own hands as his successor, by the 
name of Gregory VI. Another party in Rome at once 
elected and consecrated a rival pontiff, Sylvester III., and 
then Benedict, finding his intended spouse withheld from 
him, and not feeling himself bound in honour by his bar- 
gain with Gratian, after an absence of three months, re-ap- 
peared in Rome, and asserted his former pretensions. But 
though he succeeded in occupying the Lateran palace, he 
was not able to drive either of his competitors entirely out 
of the city. The world, therefore, beheld for some time 
the shameful spectacle of three popes opposed to each other, 
living at the same time in different palaces, and officiating at 
different altars of the papal city. 

Averse as the Romans usually and naturally were ta 
German control, the name of the young and energetic 
Henry III., who now filled the imperial throne, became 
familiar in their mouths as that of a desired and expected 
deliverer ; and in a rhythmical saying which passed from 
mouth to mouth, he was implored to come, and, as the 
vice-gerent of the Almighty, rescue the Church of Rome 
from the climax of degradation it had reached.^ 

Henry III. entered Italy in 1046, and summoned a 
Council to meet at Sutri to settle the affairs of the Churclu 
The Council deposed all three popes ; and with the view 
of preventing, for the future, the scandals which had marked 
the election of the pontiffs for along period, Henry exacted 
of the Romans that the elections should be placed for the^ 

* ** Una Sunamitis napsit tribus maritis. 
Hex Henrice. Omnipotentis vice, 
£olye connublum trtforme dubium,"— if ffnafi/M Sax^ 

MayaM S. Gregovy VI L 353 

future under his entire control, and that no one should pre- 
sume to nominate a pastor to the Apostolic see without the 
previous sanction of the imperial authority.^ Thereupon 
Henry having assumed the green mantle, the golden circlet, 
and the ring, which designated the dignity of Patrician of 
Rome, took the hand of Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, led 
him to the papal chair, and required the Church to acknow- 
ledge him as the new pope, under the title of Clement 11. 
This estimable por.tiff died, almost certainly by poison, in 
1047, and he had scarcely breathed his last, when the Tus- 
culan faction arose once more in arms, and summoning 
their wretched creature, Benedict IX., from his retirement, 
seated the unhappy man once more upon the throne of S. 
Peter ; a position in which he was enabled, by the swords of 
his partizans, to maintain himself during several months, 
whilst the evils and disorders to which Henry flattered him- 
self he had put an effectual stop, began to reign anew. 

!Many, therefore, of those who had most indignantly 
murmured at the complete subjection of the Church to an 
imperial master, were driven, by their sad circumstances, once 
more to entreat that master to become the arbiter of her fate. 
Henry, truly anxious to make a good selection, fixed his 
choice on Poppo, bishop of Brixen, who was installed under 
the name of Damasus II. But Damasus closed his 
earthly career within the brief space of three or four weeks 
from his formal assumption of the duties of his office ; and 
the rapidity with which the one event succeeded the other, 
could not but tend to corroborate the suspicions already 
current respecting the decease of Clement, as well as to 
give rise to similar ones on the present occasion.^ Henry 

^ " Ut ad ejus mutum sancta Romana Ecclesia nunc ordinetur, ac proeter ejus 
auctoritatem apostolics sedi nemo prorsus eligat sacerdotcm." — Damian» Opusc^ 
vi. c. 36. 

^ " f unc pontificem (Damasum II.) veneno a Benedicto I>C. propinato exttnc- 
tnm asserit Bcnno.'* — Pagit Brevfar, 

VOL. V. 23 

254 Lives of the Saints. [Ma) 25, 

found among his German prelates, whom he first sounded 
on the subject, a general reluctance to accept a dignity 
which, if splendid, was fraught with peril. He therefore 
appointed Bruno, bishop of Toul, a kinsman, who ascended 
the Apostolic throne under the title of Leo IX. 

It will be seen by this sketch that the emperor had created 
a dangerous precedent, driven to it by the exigencies of 
the times; but it was one, the full danger of which was not 
slow in manifesting itself. He had converted the Church 
into a department of the state. The Pope was the creature 
of the emperor, as before he had been the creature of the 
Action which had set him up. 

There was a growing party in Rome which trembled for 
the Church, as they saw that the imperial power was thus 
overshadowing her, and this party desired to emancipate 
the Church from imperial control It was not only the 
Papacy which, by the zeal of Henry III. had been made 
subservient to the State, but throughout the empire the 
whole Church was more or less under State control, and 
was employed as a political rather than as a religious engine. 
In Germany and Italy the bishoprics and abbacies were 
donatives of the crown, and the emperor gave these eccle- 
siastical offices to his friends, or if needy, sold them to the 
highest bidder, and the bishops, to indemnify themselves 
for the purchase of their sees, sold the benefices in their 
patronage, so that simony had infected the whole of the 
German and Italian Church. It is obvious that in such 
a condition of affairs the moral authority* of the Church 
languished, and that for a restoration of discipline and a 
reformation of abuses, the right of investiture by the 
monarch must be done away with. The princes claimed 
to confer bishoprics by the outward symbols of ring and 
staff, and the people would speedily be led to suppose that 
spiritual jurisdiction sprang from the crown. 

May2^] S. Gregory VII. 355 

The history of Gregory VII. is the history of his warfare 
against the encroachment of imperial power upon spirituali- 
ties. It was not ambition to exalt himself which forced 
the great pope into contest with the emperor, it was zeal 
for the Church of God, over which he had been appointed 
overseer. We may regret the manner in which the contest 
was carried on, but we are bound to respect the motive 
which forced the pope to wage it. 

Another of the purposes that animated Hildebrand was 
the abolition of clerical marriage, and the elevation of the 
moral tone of the clergy. Several of his predecessors had 
pronounced against it, but their words had fallen on ears 
unwilling to receive them, and neither the bishops nor the 
princes had cared to enforce their mandates. The battle 
that had to be fought was that of purity against impurity, 
of holiness against corruption. The clergy in the West 
who were married, were conscious that they had trans- 
gressed the decrees of popes and synods ; and the priests 
who had habituated themselves to trample upon one pre- 
cept bearing the impress of the Church's authority, had 
passed the great moral barrier which separates the syste- 
matically, though imperfectly, dutiful from the habitually 
godless and profane; the consistency of their character 
was marred; and their progress to the worst excesses of 
vice, perhaps accomplished, by an easier transition than 
had been their first bold step from obedience to its 
opposite. One of two courses was open to the reforming 
pope, either to remove the married priest from his position 
of fellowship with every class of the licentious and profane, 
by adopting the less stringent code of the Greek Church, 
or to combat clerical incontinence by force. Seizing the 
means in his power, Gregory VII. adopted the latter 
cause, and set himself to achieve, and did achieve,. a jnost 
important reformation. 

356 Lives of the Saints. [Mayas. 

To estimate aright the character of this great pope we 
must appreciate the magnitude of the opposition he en- 
countered. It is a mistake to pass over lightly this oppo- 
sition, rather let us note its vehemence, its universality, 
and then we shall be able to see how great was the reso- 
lution of that one man to master and crush it 

Hildebrand, if not a Roman by birth, was an adopted! 
Roman by education. He was of humble origin. His 
father was a carpenter in Saona, a small town on the 
southern border of Tuscany. His name implies a Teutonic 
descent. His youth was passed in a monastic house in 
Rome, S. Mary on the Aven ine, of which his uncle was 
abbot. The disposition of Hildebrand was congenial to 
his education. He was a monk from his boyhood. Morti- 
fication in the smallest things taught him that self-command 
and rigour which he was aiterwards to enforce on mankind. 
If he was stern to others, he was not gentle to himself. 
Rome was no favourable school for monastic perfection ; 
yet perhaps the gross and revolting licentiousness of the 
city, and the abuses in the monastic system, may have 
hardened his austerity. Arrived at manhood, he deter- 
mined to seek some better school for his ardent devotion, 
and to suppress in some cloister affording more shelter from 
temptation the yet mutinous passions of his adolescence. 
There were still, in the general degeneracy of the mona tic 
institutes, some renowned for thdr sanctity. At no period 
were there wanting men who preserved in all their r gour 
the rules of Benedict or Coliimban. Among these was 
Odilo, abbot of Clugny, in Burgundy. With him Hilde- 
brand found a congenial retreat, and he was strongly 
tempted to spend his days in the peaceful shades of 
Clugny. But holy retirement was not the vocation of his 
energetic spirit. Hild brand is again in Rome; he is 
attached to that onj of the thrwC conflicting popes, whose 

Mayas] S. Gvcgory VII. 357 

•cause was most sure to command the sympathy of a man 
of devout feeling rigidly attached to canonical order. 
When Gregory VI., compelled to abdicate the papacy, retired 
into Germany, Hildebrand re-appears as the counsellor 
of Leo IX.» then of Nicolas II., and of Alexander II. For 
a long period in the papal annals, Hildebrand alone sjems 
permanent. Pope afier pope dies, disappears ; Hildebrand 
still stands unmoved. One by one they fall off, Clemen^ 
Damasus, Leo, Vicior, Nicolas. The only one who rules 
for ten years is Alexander II. 

While Hildebrand was thus rising to the height of power, 
and becoming more and more immersed in the affairs of 
the world, which he was soon to rule, S. Peter Damiani, 
his aged colleague under the reforming pope, S. Leo IX. 
(see April 19th), beheld his progress with amazement and 
rregret The similitude and contrast between these two 
men is characteristic Damiani was still a monk at heart, 
and he had struggled with restless impatience against the 
JDurden of the episcopate laid on his shoulders by Pope 
^Stephen. Damiani saw the monk in Hildebrand dis- 
appearing in the statesman, and trembled for his salvation. 
Hildebrand could not comprehend the shrinking of 
Damiani from the fore-front of the battle, when the Church 
was in peril. They separated to tread different paths; 
Dam'ani to subdue the world within himself ; Hildebrand 
to subdue the world without 

Pope Alexander I. died April 21st, 1073. The clergy 
^ere assembled in the Lateran Church to celebrate his 
obsequies ; Hildebrand, as archdeacon, was performing the 
mournful service. At once from the whole multitude of 
clergy and people burst a simultaneo«s cry, " Hildebrand 
is pope P ''S. Peter chooses the Archdeacon Hildebrand I" 
The archdeacon rushed towards the pulpit to allay the 
tumult, and repel the proffered honour; but Cardinal 

358 Lives of the Saints. [Maya^. 

Hugh the White came forward and made himself heard 
above the acclamations of the multitude. 

"Well know ye," he said, "that since the days or 
the blessed Leo this prudent archdeacon has exalted 
the Roman see, and delivered this city from many perils. 
AVherefore we, the bishops and cardinals, with one voice,, 
elect him as the pastor and bishop of your souls." 

The voice of Hugh was drowned in universal cries, " It 
is the will of S. Peter; Hildebrand is pope." Hildebrand 
was immediately led to the papal throne arrayed with the 
scarlet lobe, crowned with the papal tiara, and reluctant 
and in tears, enthroned in the chair of S. Peter. Hilde-^ 
brand might well weep. The future before him was black 
with storm. Never did the Church need a firmer hand oa 
the helm, never could a pope show firmness with less safety 
to himself. It was a momentary weakness. Then, like 
S. Peter, who first girt his fisher's coat about him, and 
l^lunged into the waves, Hildebrand prepared himself for 
conflict, shook off his fears, and boldly struck out for him- 
self the course which conscience indicated. He com- 
menced his reign with cautiously securing an uncontested 
title. The decree of Nicolas II. had acknowledged that;, 
after the nominaton by the cardinals, the ratification by 
the clergy and people of Rome, the assent of the emperor 
was necessary to complete the full legal title. Hildebrand 
despatched messengers to Germany to inform Henry IV^ 
of his elevation, and to solicit his assent. Gregory, bishop 
of Vercelli, chancellor of Italy, was sent to Rome with the- 
imperial ratification, and Hildebrand ascended the throne 
of S. Peter, under the title of of Gregory VIL, which he 
assumed in compliment to his unfortunate teacher and 
friend Gratian, who had been elevated to the chair of 
S. Peter by that name, but who had been deposed for 

May2j.] .S, Gregory VII. 359 

The first official act of Gregory was to send Hugh the 
White as his legate into Spain, to insist on the abolition of 
the Mozarabic liturgy, and the reception in its place o the 
Roman ritual. But this mission had a further object, a 
more startling assertion of right, new to the king of Spain. 
Gregory in a letter addressed on April 30th, 1073, to the 
grandees of Spain, and committed to his newly-appointed 
legate, ^vrote : " Ye are not ignorant that the kingdom of 
Spain was of old time the property of S. Peter, nor that, 
notwithstanding its long occupation by Pagans, it still 
belongs of right to no mortal, but to the apostolic see." 
And therefore he granted to a certain Count Eboli of 
Roceio as much land as he could conquer from the Moors, 
to be held by him as a fief of the see of Rome. " Of this 
we warn you all that, unless ye are prepared to recognize 
S. Peter's claim upon those territories, we will oppose you, 
by exerting our apostolic authority to forbid your attacking 
them." The claim thus advanced by Gregory was new to 
those to whom it was addressed, and was unsupported by 
documentary or even traditionary proof. But the Spanish 
princes, feeling, no douLt, that some advantages would 
accrue to themselves firom the admission of such a claim, 
do not appear to have opposed it. Engaged, as they were, 
in a perpetual holy war, the more complete identification 
of their cause with that of the Church would enable them, 
when occasion required it, to appeal, the more confidently, 
to the zeal and courage of their subjects. 

Almost the first public act of Gregory VII. was a de- 
claration of implacable war against simony and the mar- 
riage of the clergy. The decree of the synod held in 
Rome on the eleventh month of his pontificate is not 
extant, but in its memorable provisions it went beyond the 
sternest of his predecessors. It almost invalidated all 
sacraments performed by simoniacal or married priests. 

360 Lives of the Saints. cMaya^ 

If it did not declare that baptism, absolution, and the 
consecration of the Host were no baptisms, no absolutions, 
and no consecrations, when performed by their hands, by 
forbdding the laity to acknowledge them, it necessarily 
encouraged the idea that they were so ; and thus directly 
led to the horrible impieties which we shall have shortly to 
describe. The laity were thrown into the position of 
judges of the priesthood and punishers of its irregularities. 
The same course had been adopted by Pope Victor at 
Milan, who had encouraged Ariald to stir up the people to 
plunder, mutilate, and expel the married clergy, with some 
success, and this policy was now to be applied over the 
whole empire. 

Throughout Western Christendom these decrees met 
with furious or with sullen and obstinate opposition. 
Siegfried, archbishop of Mainz, would not promulgate the 
decree till he was formally threatened with the papal cen- 
sure. Even then he attempted to temporize. He did not 
summon the clergy at once to show their obedience ; he 
allowed them six months of delay for consideration. A 
S3mod met at Erfurt. The partisans of the marriage of the 
clergy assembled in prevailing numbers. Their language 
was unmeasured. They appealed to custom, to Scripture, 
to reason. Some of the more violent, with confused but 
intelligible menace, called for vengeance on him who dared 
to promulgate this execrable decree. The affrighted 
primate expressed his readiness to appeal to Rome, and to 
endeavour to obtain some mitigation at least of the ob- 
noxious law. Tut the zeal of Hildebrand would brook no 
modification or delay* And in the matter of his opposition 
to simony, he carried most consciences with him. Either 
the conflict about appointment to benefices must be fought 
at once, or the Church would sink into utter subserviency 

May 350 61 GvegoTy VI L 361 

and degradation.^ Gregory justly saw that it was impos- 
sible to suppress the wretched traffic in holy things so long 
as the power to confer and sell spiritual benefices lay in 
the hands of the temporal sovereign. In a council held at 
Rome, at the beginning of the year 1075, Gregory abro- 
gated by one decree the whole right of investiture by the 
temporal princes. The prohibition was couched in the 
most comprehensive terms. It absolutely deposed every 
bishop, abbot, or inferior ecclesiastic, who should receive 
investiture of his spiritual benefice from any lay person.' 
And if any emperor or nobleman should presume to grant 
such investiture of bishopric or inferior dignity, he was to 
be excommunicated. From this moment Henry IV. and 
Gregory VII. became resolute, declared, and remorseless 
enemies. Henry considered that the pope was robbing 
him of a cherished prerogative, and an important element 
of political power, one indispensable to his authority. 
Gregory regarded the emperor as his opponent in the 
reformation of the Church. Each was determined to put 
forth his full powers, each to eniist in his party the subjects 
of the other. Henry was not in a condition tamely to 
endure what he considered to be an aggression of the 
pope. He was supported by powerful allies, pledged by 
their interests to his cause, and incensed by the uncom- 
promising manner in which the pope asserted his supre- 

1 We may take, almost at haphazard, a passage from the history of the past in 
Italy, to instance the flagrant abuses that arose out of lay investiture. In 938 
Hugh of Provence made one of his bastards bishop of Piacenza; another, arch- 
deacon, w>th hopes of succession to the archbishopric of Milan. A relative, 
Hilduin, who had been expelled from his see in France, he made archbishop of 
Milan. He gave th bisho; rics of Trent, Ver na, and Mantua, to the ambitious 
Manasseh of Aries. Beren^^ar, Marqnis of Ivrea, bribed Adelard the oflBcer of 
Manasseh into treason by promising him the bishopric of Como ; but instead of 
fulfilling his engagement, gave the bishopric t • aldo, a lawless robber, who 
plundered the high way s, and blinded his captives, and to Advlard he gave the see 
of Reggio. 

362 Lives of tJie Saints. CMaya^, 

_ ,1 . - — - _ - -^ ■ — — — ■ ■ - - — — — 

macy. The German Church, as shown at Erfurt, had a 
strong inclination to independence. Of the more powerful 
prelates some were old, some irresolute ; but some, sharing 
in the condemnation of the emperor, were committed to 
his side. Siegfried of Mainz was timid and wavering. By 
the same Roman synod Lietmar, archbishop of Bremen, 
Werner of Strasbuig, Herman of Bamberg, Henry of Spires, 
William of Pavia, Cunibert of Turin, Dionysius of 
Piacenza, besides the three bishops of Constance, Zeitz, 
and Lausanne, were interdicted, as simoniacs, from the 
performance of their functions. Few of the bishops were 
disposed, by denying the legality of lay investiture, ta 
imperil their own right to the estates of their churches. 
But the most determined and reckless resistance was 
among the partisans of the married clergy. Siegfried, 
yielding to the urgent commands of the pope, called a 
second synod at Mainz, and displayed the mandate of the 
apostolic see, that the bishops in their several dioceses 
should compel the priests to renounce their wives. The 
whole assembly rose; so resolute was their language, so 
fierce their gestures, that the archbishop again trembled for 
his life. He declared that from thenceforth he would not 
concern himself in such perilous matters. At Passau 
Bishop Altmann, on S. Stephen's Day, 1074, mounted the 
pulpit, and read the papal briefl He would have been 
torn in pieces but for the intervention of some of the 
powerful citizens. Bishop Henry of Coire hardly escaped 
with his life when he promulgated the decree. 

But the execution of the decree was left to the people. 
They were constituted by the dangerous fourth clause the 
judges and executioners of their clergy. And such an 
invitation, thus made, was, of course, readily and generally 
attended to. The occasion seemed to the selfish, the 
irreverent and the profane, to sanction the gratification 

May2s.] S. Grregory VII. 363 

of all the bad feelings, with which persons of those 
dispositions must ever regard the ministers of the Church; 
and priests, whose disobedience to the papal authority 
furnished any excuse for such conduct, were openly beaten, 
abused, and insulted by their rebellious flocks.^ Some 
were forced to fly with the loss of all that they possessed, 
some were deprived of limbs, and some were put to death 
in lingering torments. And to lengths, even more horrible 
than these, did the popular violence thus unhappily 
sanctioned proceed. Too many were delighted to find 
what they could consider as a religious excuse for neglect- 
ing religion itself, for depriving their children of baptism, 
and for making the holy sacrament of the altar the subject 
of the most degrading mockery, or of the most atrocious 

Many other distressing scenes occurred. The wives of 
the priests who had been married to them with ring 
and religious rite, and notarial deed, were torn from 
them and driven forth with the indignity of harlots, their 
children were degraded as bastards. In some cases these 

1 ** Plebeius error, quam semper quaesivit, opportanitate adepta, usqe ad fu torts 
sui satietatem injancta sibi, ut ait, in clericorum contumelias obediential 
crudeliter abutitur. Hi . . . quocumqne prodeunt, clamores insultantium, 
digitosostendentium, cojaphos pulsantium proferunt. Alii * • • egeni et pauperes 
profngiunt. Alii membris mutilati . . . Alii per Icngos cruciatus superbe 
necati." Epist. cujusdam in Marten, et Durand* Thesaurus Nov. Anecdotor. 
T. i., p. 23X. 

>"Qnot parvuli salutari lavacro violenter fraudati. Quot omnis conditionis 
homines a secunda: purificationis, qnae in poemetentia et reconciliatione consistit, 
remedio rcpulsi/' Epist. citat., M. et D. T. I., p. 240. "Laici sacra mysteria 
temerant, et de his disputant, infantes baptizant, sordido humore aurium pro 
sacro oleo et christmate utentes, in extremo vitae viaticum Dominicum, et usitatum 
ecclesise obsequium sepulturae, a presbyteris conjugatis accipere parvipendunt, 
decimas presbyteris deputatas ignl cremant; et ut in uno caetera perpendas laici 
corpus Domini a presbyteris conjugatis consecratum, saepe pedibus concuicave- 
rnnt, ei sanguinem Domini voluntarie efFudenint,**— Sigebcrt Gembiac, an. 1074, 
At Milan the people were taught that if they received the Commanion from married 
priests they ate and drank to their own damnation."— >Vit Arialdi, 

364 Lives of the Saints. tMay 35. 

wretched women committed suicide^ they flung themselves 
into the fires that consumed their homes, or were found 
dead in their beds from grief, or by their own hanis. 

It was not only in Germany that the Hildebrandine 
decrees encountered fierce opposition. At the Council of 
Paris, when the decree was read, there was a loud outcry 
of appeal to S. Paul's Epistle to Timothy. The abbot of 
Pont Isfere dared to say that the pope's mandate must be 
obeyed. He was dragged out of the assembly, spat upon, 
struck in the face, and hardly rescued alive. The arch- 
bishop of Rouen, when endeavouring to read the decrees 
in his cathedral, was assailed by a shower of stones, and 
compelled to secure his safety by flight.^ Nor was this extra- 
ordinary ; for it seems that the system of clerical marriage 
was so completely established and recognized in Normandy, 
that churches had become property heritable by the sons, 
and even by the daughters, of the clergy who enjoyed 
them.^ And this fact may be taken as an iadication of the 
general condition of the Gallican Church, in which the 
process of secularization had made further .strides than in 
her German sister. At the same time the French king 
continued to practice a simoniacal traffic in bishoprics and 
abbeys without remorse or shame. And in Germany 
Henry IV. sold or gave away bishoprics and abbeys in 
insolent defiance of the mandate of the pope, and to the 

grief of all right-thinking men.^ 


> '*Fugiensque tieecclesia, Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuam 1 fot- 
titer clamavit." Ordericus Vitalise lib. iv. 

* Gaufrcdus Grossus, in Vita Bernard! Ab. Tironiensis Mon, c. vt. 

* When Pope Gregory had deposed Hermann, bishop of Bamberg, for simony, 
Henry nominated in his room, and invested with the see, one Rupert, a m n of 
infamous report among the people, being regarded as a mere creature of the 
king, and an instigator and abetter of all the disgraceful actions ascribed to 
Henry by the general voice. On the day immediately following Rupert's nomi- 
nation, while the king sat in council with his n bles on the disposal of the 
vacant abbey of Fulda, a crowd of abbots and mjnks bid publicly and unbiu^ h. 

May2^] S. Gregory VII. 365 

In April, 1074, Gregory wrote to Wiriam the Conqueror, 
in the tone of a friend, adjuring him to seek the glory of 
God above all things in the government of the country 
which he had acquired. But neither in this, nor in an 
epistle written on the same day, with the view of support- 
ing the above, to William's queen, iMathilda, d d Gregory 
make any allusion to his recent decrees ; he did not, it 
would seem, conceive that his footing in JEngland was 
sufficiently firm to warrant their promulgation. At any 
rate those relating to simony would hardly have been 
nee Jed there. Nor did his friend Lanfranc, though he 
held in th^ following year a council in S. Pauls for the 
reformation of the Church, venture, on this occasion, openly 
to promulgate them. And e\ en the council of Winciiester 
in 1076 — while enacting that no married priests should be 
admitted to orders — decreed that priests in burghs or 
villages who had wives already should be permitted to 
retain t'lem. The ultimate adhesion of the Anglican 
Church to the principle of cl .rlcal celibacy was slow ; for 
even in 1237, the council held ia S. Paul's cathedral, was 
obliged to pass a canon to prevent benefices becoming 
hereditary.^ The same may be said of the Churches of 
Spain and Hungary. In the former of these countries, the 
papal legate, Richard, abbot of Marseilles, was assailed by 
the ( ler^y with menaces and outrages when attempting to 
enforce the observance of celibacy among them in 1089, at 

ing'y before him, as at an auctidn, for that much coveted dignity. Some, says 
Lambert of AschafFenburg, proffered mountains of gold; some offered to make 
over to the crown large portions of the territory they sought to possess ; somo 
undertook to perform greater services than the fief had been accustomed to pay ; 
promises were lavished without moderation or modesty. Even Henry was dis- 
gusted with the scene, and on this occasion acted with good feeling. Perceiving, 
amid the greedy crowd, a monk of Hersfeld, who bad come to court upon some 
business of his abbey, and took no part in the nefarious trafflr, the kini; beckoned 
h:m to appr ach, suddenly invested" him with the pastoral staff, and hailed him 

^ Matthew Paris, Chron. sub. ann. 1237. 

366 Lives of the Saints. [Maya^. 

the council of Burgos. And in the latter, even as late as 
2092, the synod assembled at Szabulcha, under Ladislaus, 
prohibited to priests and deacons second marriages, as 
well as marriages with widows, or with those who had been 
divorced ; but decreed that to priests who had contracted 
a first and legitimate marriage indulgence must be given. 

Thus, everywhere, in Italy, in Rome itself, in Spain, in 
France, throughout Germany, the decrees of Gregory were 
received with the most vigorous and stubborn oppugnance, 
and where carried out, occasioned scenes full of scandal 
and sacrilege. 

Gregory acknowledges in his letters the reluctance with 
which his decree was submitted to by the clergy, the 
tardiness of the bishops in enforcing its penalties. Yet, 
not for one moment did he hesitate in his purpose. In 
obeying what he considered to be his duty, he was rigid as 
a rock. His course aroused the most implacable ani- 
mosity. There is no epithet of scorn, no imaginable 
charge of venality, incapacity, cruelty, or even licentious- 
ness, which was not heaped upon him, and that even by 

In the meantime the pope's position in Rome was im- 
perilled. Cencius, a descendant of the turbulent barons 
of the Romagna, had availed himself of the various towers, 
or strongholds, which he possessed in Rome, to subject his 
fellow-citizens to a regular system of oppression and plunder. 
For this he had been imprisoned by the prefect of the city, 
and censured by the pontiff; and considering both these 
measures in the light of deadly insults, he awaited an 
opportunity of revenge. Taking advantage of the estrange- 
ment which existed between the emperor and the pope, now 
grown into bitter hostility, possibly with the sanction of 
Henry, almost certainly with the connivance of Guibert, 
Archbishop of Ravenna, Cencius planned a daring.attempt 

May2^3 6*. Gregory VII. 367 

to gain possession of the person of the pope, and make 
himself master of Rome. 

On the eve of Christmas-day whilst the pope was saying 
midnight mass in the Church of S. Maria Maggiore, the 
soldiers of Cencius burst in, rushed to the altar, and seized 
the pontiff. One fatal blow might have ended the life of 
Hildebrand, and changed the course of events ; it glanced 
aside, and only wounded his forehead. Bleeding, stripped 
of his holy vestments, but patient and gentle, the pope was 
led away, and imprisoned in a strong tower. The rumour 
ran rapidly through the city; all the night trumpets pealed, 
bells tolled. The clergy broke o£f their services, and ran 
about the streets summoning the populace to rescue. At 
dawn of day the prison of the pope was surrounded by a 
multitude, roaring, angry, threatening vengeance. Cencius 
shuddered at his own deed. One faithful friend and one 
noble matron had followed the pope into the dungeon. 
The man had covered his shivering body with furs, and was 
cherishing his chilled feet in his bosom ; the woman had 
bound up the wound in his head, and sat weeping beside 
Slim. Cencius, cowardly as he was cruel, threw himself on 
the mercy of the outraged pontiff, and was promptly 

vGregory was brought out, and was carried in triumph to 
the Lateran. Cencius and his kindred fled ; their houses 
were razed by the indignant populace. Two weeks after, 
Jan. 8th, 1076, Gregory wrote to the Emperor Henry IV., 
•complaining of his resistance to the decrees, and requiring 
him peremptorily to appear on the 22nd of February 
following, at Rome, to answer for his offences, in support- 
ing and encouraging prelates excommunicated by the 
pope. Thus the king of the Germans was solemnly cited 
as a criminal to the bar of the papal tribunal. The legates 
^<who brought the message to tlie emperor were dismissed 

368 Lives of the Saints. [Mav ^. 

with ignominy. Henry resolved on wiping out the insult 
by dethroning the pope. Messengers were despatched 
fi'ith breathless haste to summon the prelates to Germany 
to meet at Worms on Septuagesima Sunday, Jan. 24th,. 

The day appointed beheld a numerous assemblage of 
bishops and abbots in the appointed city. Siegfried, the 
primate of Germany, was attended by the bishops of 
Treves, Utrecht, Metz, Spires, Toul, Strasbourg, and many- 
others. And when the assembly was seated, and the 
session opened in form, the unprincipled Hugh the White, 
who had acted so conspicuous a part in Gregory's election, 
stood forward as his accuser. This unhappy man, by his 
repeated misconduct had drawn down on himself, for the 
third time, the censures of the apostolic see, and feeling the 
breach irreconcileable, now regarded him, whom he had 
assisted in raising to the papal chair, with the most 
determined hostility. Hugh laid before the council a 
varijty of letters, purporting to come from different arch- 
bishops and bishops, and from the cardinals, senate, and 
people of Rome ; but which jwere, in tnith, forgeries of his 
own, or of his employers. They were filled with com- 
plainsof the pontiffs conduct, and with entreaties for his 
immediate expulsion from the apostolic throne. And then, 
as though in explanation of these epistles, the apostate 
cardinal read, before the assembly, a document which, 
professing to contain an account of Gregory's life and 
manner, was filled with calumnies the most unfounded and 
incredible. Henry, if not himself accessory to the 
guilt of the forgery, must have been, at any rate, too well 
informed to believe in the truth of the greater part of the 
cardinal's assertions. Such misrepresentations, however, 
suited his purpose, and he therefore raised no question, 
respecting the accuser's veracity. 

Mayaj.} 6*, Gvegory VII. 369 

With loud, unanimous acclamation, the synod declared 
that Gregory VII, had forfeited the power of binding and 
loosing, he was no more Pope. The form of renunciation 
of allegiance was drawn up in the most explicit form. But 
two of them, Adalbert of Wurzburg, and Hermann of 
Metz, spoke out against the impropriety of condemning 
any prelate, much more the Pope, without his having been 
cited to appear, or heard in his own defence. But the 
urgency of William, bishop of Utrecht, one of Henry's 
most ardent partizans, prevailed upon them at length to 
add their signatures to those of their brethren ; and the 
king himself placed his name at the head of the list. In 
Lombardy, Guibert, archbishop of Ravenna, and a large 
number of the clergy, joined in the revolt against Gregory, 
A synod held at Piacenza ratified the decree of Worms. A 
priest of the church of Parma, Roland by name^ under- 
took to bear a copy of the acts of the two councilS| 
together with Henry's letters, to those whom they 
concerned in Rome ; and setting forth and without delay 
to execute his mission, he arrived in the papal city at the 
moment in which the synod, to which Henry had been 
summoned, was meeting, in the second week in Lent. 
The council being assembled, the echoes of the solemn 
strain, "Veni Creator Spiritus," and having scarcely died 
away amid the holy aisles of the Lateran, Roland suddenly 
stepped forward before the pontiff and his prelates. " The 
king,'' said he, addressing Gregory, "and the united bishops, 
as well of Germany as of Italy, transmit to thee this com- 
mand — Come down without delay from the throne of S. 
Peter!" And then, turning to the bishops and clergy 
present, "To you, brethren, it is commanded, at the feast 
of Pentecost, to present yourselves before the king, to 
receive a pope and father from his hands." 

The synod in vehement indignation burst forth into aa 
VOL. v. 24 

370 Lives of the Saints. tMaya^ 

unanimous cry for judgment on the sovereign who had 
dared to trample on the Holy See. What follows exhibits 
in strange contrast puerility combined with power. Gravely, 
before the excited throng of bishops, Hildebrand produced 
an egg from his bosom, which had been found outside the 
church of S. Peter, and on which was visible in strange 
relief something like a serpent armed with sword and shield, 
attempting to rise, but falling back, twisting as in mortal 
agony. On this sight sat gazing the mute ecclesiastical 
senate, whilst the Pope, with the gravity of an ancient 
augur, proceeded to expovmd the sign. The serpent was 
the dragon of the Apocalypse raging against the Church ; 
and in the same old Roman spirit, he drew the omen of 
victory from its discomfiture. The synod broke forth in a 
cry, " Most holy Father, utter such a sentence against this 
blasphemer, this tyrant, as may crush him to the earth, and 
make him a warning to future ages !" 

The formal sentence of excommunication was delayed 
till the next day. On the morning arrived letters from 
prelates of Germany and Italy, disclaiming the acts of the 
synod at Worms and Piacenza. The pontiff again took his 
seat in the Lateran, encircled by no bishops and abbots. 
The first sentence fell on the prelates who had concurred 
in the proceedings at Worms. They were suspended from 
their episcopal functions, interdicted from the holy Euchar- 
ist, unless in the hour of death, and after due penance. 
The prelates who met at Piacenza were condemned to the 
same punishment Then Hildebrand pronounced sentence 
against the Emperor, interdicting him from the government 
of the whole realm of Germany and of Italy ; absolving all 
Christians from the oaths which they had sworn to him, and 
forbidding all obedience to him as king. Henry heard in 
Utrecht, March 27, the sentence of the Pope. His first 
impression was that of dismay ; but he soon recovered 

Mayao-.] S. Gregovy VI L 371 

himself, and affected to treat it with contempt The 
first measure, which, when he had tinii to collect his 
thoughts, suggested itself, was that Gregory should be 
publicly excommunicated by some of the prelates of his 
court. And as Pibo, bishop of Toul, was suspected by him 
to waver in his adhesion to his cause, he resolved to put 
that prelate to the proof, by directing him to perform the 
ceremony on the 'following morning. Pibo durst not 
openiy refuse; but he, together with Dietrich, bishop of 
Verdun, fled in the night from Utrecht, where the king then 
v/as. Ignorant of his flight, the king in the morning took 
his seat in the Cathedral, and, for some time, impatiently 
awaited his appearance. At length, the truth becoming 
known, and it being felt that every appearance of failure 
should, at this critical moment, be avoided, William of 
Utrecht himself pronounced the sentence, and poured forth 
from the altar a torrent of virulent abuse ; calling Gregory 
perjured, an adulterer, a false apostle. 

One circumstance could not fail to strike those who were 
disposed to act aright without sufficient information to 
investigate for themselves the intricacies of the question at 
issue. All the habitually irreligious, all the notoriously 
profane, seem to have attached themselves, as it were 
naturally, to the party of the king. The excommunicated 
nobles, the most worldly prelates, and the most dissolute 
of the clergy, the patrons and practisers of simony through- 
out the empire, were all ranged on Henry's side: nor 
could thoughtful people well believe that a cause was that 
of* ^eal for the Church which gathered, as though by a 
natural process, to its support, all those by whom her laws 
Vv ere openly broken, or her authority was openly defied. 

Most strenuous amongst the opponents of Gregory was 
William, bishop of Utrecht, whose indecent violence had 
rudely shocked the religious feelings of the people in his 

372 Lives of tlie Saints^ cMayi^^ 

excommunication of Gregory VII., in his cathedral. But 
a month had not intervened since that event when the ir- 
reverent prelate was seized with a rapid disease, and ended 
his life in a state of delirious despair, forbidding his friends 
to pray for one who was irretrievably lost 

The sentence which had been pronounced at Utrecht 
was conveyed to Italy. A council met at Pavia, summoned 
by Guibert, Archbishop of Ravenna, and it concurred in 
anathematizing Gregory. 

But while these vain thunders had no effect on the rigid 
churchmen and the laity who adhered to the pope, the ex- 
communication was working in the depths of the German 
mind, and mingling itself up with, and seeming to hallow 
all the other motives of jealousy, hatred, and revenge, 
which prevailed in so many parts of the empire, A vast 
and formidable conspiracy began to organise itself, Henry 
saw on all sides of him hostility, disaffection, and desertion; 
the princes meditating revolt; the prelates either openly 
^enouncing or shaken in their allegiance. Everything 
seemed blasted with a curse and turned against him. His 
strength ebbed daily away. An expedition into Saxony to 
quell the insurrection then ended in total and disgraceful 
failure. A diet met at Tribur (October i6th, 1076), near 
Darmstadt. Thither came Rudolf of Swabia, OttoofSaxonj', 
Guelf of Bavaria, the two first of whom were rivals for the 
throne, if it should be vacant by the deposition of Henry. 
All his old enemies, all his revolted friends, the bishops 
who had opposed, the bishops who had consented, some 
even who had advised his lofty demeanour towards ike 
Pope, appeared drawn together by their ambition, by their 
conscientious churchmanship, or by their base resolution to 
be on the stronger side, The two legates of the pope were 
present to lend their weight and sanction to the proceed- 
ings. On the other side of the Rhine, at Oppenheim, the 

^ay2,-.j S. Gre£0ry VI L 373 

deserted Henry, with a few faithful nobles, and still fewer 
bishops, kept his diminished and still dwindling Court. The 
vigour of Henr/s character seemed crushed by the universal 
defection. He sank into abject submission and accepted the 
hard terms the diet imposed upon him. The terms were 
that his conduct as Emperor should be investigated and 
judged by the supreme Pontiff, who was to hold a council 
at Augsburg for the purpose on the feast of the Purification 
in the ensuing year, and in the meantime to resign the in- 
signia of royalty and disband his army. Henry bowed to 
his fate. He dismissed his councillors, disbanded his army, 
and sank into a private station. 

But in this intolerable condition he could not remain ; 
he could not endure the prospect of a trial before the Pontiff 
with his rebellious subjects as his accusers, in the heart of 
his own empire. He resolved to undergo, if it must be 
undergone, the deep humiliation of submission in Italy 
rather than the Diet of the empire, in the face, amid the 
scorn and triumph, of his revolted subjects. He resolved 
to anticipate the journey of the Pope to Germany. Before 
the feast of the Purification he must meet Gregory in Italy. 
But his design became known. The dukes of Bavaria and 
Carinthia, enemies of Henry, jealously watched the passes 
of the Alps. With difficulty Henry collected from his 
still diminishing partisans sufficient money to defray the 
expenses of his journey. With his wife and infant son, 
and one faithful attendant, the emperor began his journey. 
Nature seemed to conspire with the Pope against the fallen 
king. So hard a winter had not been known for years. 
The passage of Mont Cenis was blocked with snow. But 
the fatal day was hastening on ; the king must reach Italy 
or forfeit the crown for ever. With incredible suffering and 
danger the icy pass was surmounted. The queen and her 
infant son were, lowered from the summit in the skins of 

374 Lives of the Saints. [Maya^. 

oxen, as in sledges. No sooner was the king's unexpected 
arrival made known in Italy than the princes and the bishops 
assembled in great numbers, and received him with the 
highest honours ; in a few days he found himself at the 
head of a formidablcarmy. The great cause of his popu- 
larity with them was the notion that he had crossed the 
Alps to depose the Pope. He did not undeceive them. 
He could not risk the total loss of Germany for the sake of 
their precarious favours. He hurried forward to Canossa, a 
fortress on a craggy hill, where was Gregory at the moment. 
On a dreary winter morning (Jan. 25, 1077), with the 
ground deep in snow, the king, the heir of a long Jine of 
emperors, was permitted to enter within the two outer of 
the three walls which girded the castle of Canossa. He 
had laid aside every mark of royalty; clad in the thin 
white linen dress of the penitent, he stood fasting, and 
blue with cold, at the door, in humble patience waiting on 
the pleasure of the Pope. But the gates did not unclose. 
A second day he stood cold, hungry, and mocked by vain 
hope. And yet a third day dragged on from morning to 
evening over the unsheltered head of the discrowned king^ 
Every heart was moved except that of the stem Gregory. 
Even in the presence of the Pope there were low deep 
murmurs against his severity. *The patience of Henry 
could endure no more; he took refuge in an adjacent 
chapel of S. Nicolas, where he found the Countess 
Mathilda, the great patroness and benefactress of Gregory^ 
and with tears he implored her to use her merciful 
interference. .Gregory at length yielded an ungracious, 
permission for the king to approach his presence. With 
bare feet, still in the garb of penitence, stood the king, a 
man of singularly tall and noble person, with a countenance 
accustomed to flash command and terror upon his 
adversaries, before the Pope, the poor carpenter's son, a grey- 
haired man, bowed with years, of small unimposing stature- 

May2j.j vS. Gregory VI L 375 

The terms exacted from Henry, who was far too deeply 
humiliated to dispute anything, had no redeeming toiich of 
gentleness and compassion. He was to appear in the 
place and at the time which the Pope should name to 
answer the charges of his subjects before the Pope himself. 
If he should repel these charges, he was to receive his 
kingdom back from the hands of the Pope. If found 
guilty, he was peaceably to resign his kingdom. On these 
conditions the pope consented to grant absolution. But 
even yet Henry had not tasted the dregs of humiliation. 
He had been degraded before men, he was to be degraded 
in the presence of God. 

After the absolution had been granted in due form, the 
Pope proceeded to celebrate the awful mystery of the 
Eucharist. He called the king towards the altar, he lifted 
in his hands the Body of the Lord, and said, " I have been 
accused by thee of having usurped the Apostolic See by 
simoniacal praciices. Behold the Lord's Body. If I be 
guilty, may God strike me dead at once.*' He took and 
ate the Sacrament A pause ensued. " Do thou, my son, 
* as I have done ! Tiie Princes of the German Empire have 
accused thee of crimes heinous and capital. If thou art 
guiltless, take and eat." The king shrank away, self- 

When Henry left Canossa, he met with sullen and 
averted faces. The Lombards had come not to see the 
king, but the Pope humbled. Angry discontent spread 
through the camp. There was a general cry that the king 
should abdicate, and that his son Conrad should be 
proclaimed. With him at their head they would march to, 
Rome, elect another Pope, who should crown him 
emperor, and annul all the acts of Gregory VII. The 
tumult was with difficulty quelled, and Henry retired in 
shame and sorrow io Reggio. 

376 Lives of the Saints. tMaya^ 

But Hildebrand had overshot his mark. The severity 
with which he had treated the emperor was felt in Germany 
as an insult to the nation ; and on all sides men returned 
to their allegiance. The revolted German princes had 
gone too far to retreat They assembled a diet at 
Forscheim, on March 13, 1077, and elected Rudolf Of 
Swabia to be king in the room of Henry. He was 
consecrated at Mainz by Archbishop Siegfried, and the 
papal legates gave the sanction of their presence to the 
ceremony. Thus was civil war proclaimed throughout 
Germany. For seventeen years wars and seditions raged 
throughout the Roman Empire. Bishops rose against 
bishops, the clergy against the clergy, the people against the 
people, father against son, son against father, brother 
against brother. The assumption of the throne by a rival 
monarch called into action all the slumbering forces of 
Henry's cause. The people of Mainz broke out in a 
sudden access of fidelity to the king. Worms shut her 
gates against Rudolf. The three bishops of Wurtzburg, 
Metz and Passau, alone adhered to Rudolf; some at once 
declared for Henry. The emperor had in the mean time 
invested Canossa, to prevent the pope from making his 
way to Augsburg, where the German princes awaited him. 
The emperor's army rapidly grew. Sieghardt, patriarch of 
Aquileia, opened Camiola to him, and Henry marched 
into Germany. On reaching Ulm, he held a diet, and 
placed Rudolf and his adherents under the ban of the 

The whole of Germany was divided into two parties, 
that of the emperor, and that of S. Peter, and this gave 
rise to the great division in the German nation, which, at a 
later period, attained such melancholy celebrity as the 
strife between the Welfs and the Waiblinger, or Guelphs 
and Ghibellines. \ The nobility and the bishops were 


Mayaj.3 iS. Gregory VII. 37*^ 

divided in their allegiance; the cities and free states all 
pronounced in favour of the emperor. In Augsburg, 
Matthias Corsany preached against, and Geroch in favour 
of the Pope ; the latter was driven by the citizens out of 
the town. 

Gregory, greatly disconcerted by this turn in affairs, 
temporized. The Saxons, irritated by this conduct, incited 
hy Gebhardt, archbishop of Salzburg, who had been 
deposed by Henry, addressed three letters to him, which 
received the nickname of "the cockcrowing," being in- 
tended, like the voice of S. Peter's cock, to move his 
successor to remorse. The low state of Rudolfs affairs 
compelled Gregory to a decision. If he allowed Rudolf 
to be crushed, the conqueror of Germany would remorse- 
lessly close his iron hand upon himself. At Rome, on 
March 7th, 1080, he fulminated once more the terrific 
sentence of excommunication and deposition against King 
Henry ; and he prophesied that, unless Henry made his 
submission before the 29th of June, he would be deposed 
or dead ; and if his vaticination failed, he bade men cease 
to believe in the authority of Gregory. And then, as the 
genuine crown of Charlemagne was in Henry's possession, 
the pope sent to Rudolf a new diadem, for which he was 
to hold the empire as a papal fief; the inscription it bore 
ran thus, " Petra dedit Petro, Petrus diadema Rudolpho." 
It was a maxim of Gregory that all sovereigns derived their 
rights, and held theu: thrones from the see of S. Peter* 
" The Pope," said he, "is the sun, the emperor is themo jn 
that shines with borrowed light" 

But the anathema had lost its terrors even in the popular 
mind. No defections took place ; no desertions from the 
conr^ the council, or the army. All disclaimed at once 
further allegiance to Gregory. At Mainz nineteen bishops 
met^ and with one voice renounced Hildebrand as pope. 

378 Lives of the Saints. cMaya^ 

The archbishops of Milan and Ravenna assembled with 
thirty other bishops in a council at Brixen, confirmed the 
deposition of Gregory VII., and the archbishop of Ravenna 
was nominated in his stead, as Pope Clement III. Only 
fifteen bishops in Germany and Italy permanently sided 
with the pope. 

On Oct. 25, 1080, the armies of Henry and Rudolf met 
for a decisive batde near the Elster, in the great plain lying, 
between Merseburg and Leipzig, famous for the victory 
gained by Henry the Fowler over the Hungarians.^ It 
might seem a religious no less than a civil war. Henry was 
accompanied to the battie by the Archbishop of Cologne and 
Treves, and fourteen other prelates. The Saxons advanced 
to the charge with the bishops of their party chanting the 
eighty-first (a. v. 82nd) psalm, "God standeth in the con- 
gregation of the princes." Henry was defeated, but his 
reverse was more than counterbalanced by the fall of his 
rival. Some misgivings as to the justice of his cause em- 
bittered the last moments of Rudolf. His hand had been 
struck off by a sabre : as he gazed at it he said, " With this 
hand I ratified my oath of fidelity to my sovereign. I have 
now lost life and kingdom. Bethink ye, ye who have led 
me, whether ye have guided me right" The death of 
Rudolf paralysed the adversaries of Henry for a time, and 
gave him leisure to turn his forces to chastise his more irre- 
concilable enemy. In the spring of the year 1081 Henry 
crossed the Alps in far different condition from that in which 
four years before he had stolen, a deserted and broken- 
spirited penitent, to the feet of the Pope. Heaven had 
not ratified the .predictions of Gregory. Instead of defeat 
and death Henry had met with success, and now he came 
in the pride of conquest against the Pope. 

He laid siege to Rome, but for three successive years. 

^ See^arch Vol, p.26x-2. 

Maysj-.] S. Gregory VI T. 379 

without success. Year after year, summer, by its intoler- 
able heats, and by sickness, thinned the ranks of the Ger- 
mans, and compelled them to withdraw. At length, at 
Christmas, in 1083,- Henry made himself master of Rome, 
but not of the. person of the pope, who had hastily shut 
himself up within the impregnable walls of the castle of S. 
An<?eIo. But succour was at hand. The Norman invaders 
of Southern Italy had been under excommunication on 
account of their devastations. They had defeated Leo IX, 
in his ill-advised expedition against them. Now Gregory 
VII. removed the ban, and called them to his assistance. 
Robert Guiscard advanced rapidly to his aid at the head 
of a mixed body of adventurers, Norman free-booters, and 
Saracens, seeking only pillage. Henry was not strong 
enough to cope with this formidable host. He evacuated 
the city three days before the Norman army appeared under 
its walls. But now that the deliverers of the Pope had 
arrived, the Romans refused to open their gates, to them. 
They dreaded the Normans and Saracens, and adventurers 
of all lands who formed the army, far more than the disci- 
plined troops of the emperor. But the Normans surprised 
the gate of S. Lorenzo and made themselves masters of 
Rome. Their first act was to release the Pope from his 
imprisonment in the castle of S. Angelo. They conducted 
him 'to the Lateran palace, and then spread over the cit/ 
pillaging, violating, murdering, wherever they met wJth 
opposition. The Romans rushed upon the invaders when 
revelling in careless security, and began to cut them down. 
But with the discipline of practised soldiers they flew to 
arms ; the whole city was in conflict. The remorseless 
Guiscard gave the word to fire the houses. From every 
quarter the flames rushed up — ^houses, palaces, convents, 
churches, as the night darkened, were seen in awful 
conflagration. The distracted inhabitants dashed wildly 

380 Lives of tlie Saints. iMaja^. 

into the streets, no longer endeavouring to defend them- 
selves, but to save their families. They were hewn down 
by hundreds. The Saracen allies of the Pope had been 
foremost in the pillage, they were now the foremost in the 
conflagration and the massacre. No house, no monasteiy, 
was secure from plimder, murder, and rape. Nuns were 
outraged, matrons forced, the rings cut from their living 
lingers. Gregory exerted himself, not without success, in 
saving the principal churches. It is probable, however, 
that neither Goth nor Vandal, neither Greek nor German, 
brought such desolation on the city as the capture by the 
Normans. From this period dates the desertion of the 
older part of the city, and the gradual extension of Rome 
over the site of the modern city. 

Guiscard was at length master of the mins of Rome, 
but his vengeance was yet unappeased. Many thousand 
Romans were sold publicly as slaves. 

Unprotected by his Norman guard, the Pope could not 
now trust himself in the city. The miserable people re- 
garded him as the author of their woes, they would have 
torn him to pieces in their rage. In the company of his 
ally and deliverer, Robert Guiscard, but oppressed with 
shame and affliction, he retired from the smoking ruins and 
desolated streets of the city of S. Peter, to the Norman's 
strong tower of Salerno. In the meantime Henry was 
troubled with the news of another claimant to the throne, 
Hermann of Luxemburg, whom the Saxons had proclaimed 
their king,. at Eisleben. He was nicknamed "the garlic 
king" on account of the quantity of garlic that grew around 

Gregory, unshaken by the horror he had witnessed, and 
the perils he had escaped, thundered out again his excom- 
inunication of Henry, from the castle of Salerno. From 
thence he watched the angry storm raging over the empire. 

MayaM S. Mavy Magdakft of Puzzi, 381 

but there was no break on the horizon, and three years 
after, he died at Salerno bitterly murmuring, "I have 
loved justice and hated iniquity, and therefore I die in 
exile." Before his death he pronounced a general absolu- 
tion over all mankind, yet stem to the last, excepting from 
it Henry and the bishops who adhered to him. 


(a.d. 1607.) 

[Roman and Carmelite Martyrology, Beatified by Pope Urban VI IT. 
in 1626, canonized by Alexander VII, in 1669. Authorities j — A life from 
notes by Vincent Puccini, who was confessor to the convent after 1605 ; 
this was dedicated to Q. Mary de Medici, in 1609; Also another life 
written in 1625, by Virgilius Cepari, S.J. her confessor.] 

This saint belonged to the ancient family of Pazzi, 
at Florence; she was born in 1566, and received 
at the font the name of Catherine. From her earliest 
childhood her desire was to devote herself to the re- 
ligious life. Her father having been appointed governor 
of Cortina, placed his child in the convent of S. John 
at Florence. At the end of fifteen months he returned 
to Florence, and wished to provide for his daughter 
a suitable marriage, but she so earnestly besought him 
to allow her to enter religion, that he consented, and 
she took the habit in 1583, when she ^Vas eighteen years 
old, in the order of Mount Carmel. She professed the 
following year, and took the name of Mary Magdalen in 
religion. In 1585, on the vigil of Pentecost she saw 
herself transported in vision to a horrible swamp filled with 
the most revolting forms. This vision made a deep 
impression on her, and feared it was sent to forewarn her of 
an impending temptation. She resolved to meet all trials 

382 Lives of the Saints. [Maya,-. 

with submission to the sweet Will of God, in which she 
experienced the liveliest confidence. On the following 
Trinity Sunday the signification, of her vision was made 
manifest, for she entered that "Den of Lions," as she called 
the dismal swamp of her vision, by becoming a prey to the 
most distressing thoughts. Ideas of indescribable pro- 
fanity and sensuality forced themselves into her mind. 
The face of God seemed to be withdrawn from her, all was 
desolation and a horror of foul imaginations. She 
combated them by crying perpetually, " Thy will. Thy will 
be done, O my God, but suffer me not to fall from Thee." 
This harrowing condition lasted five years. Her colour 
went, and she became thin, and worn in face; but 
suddenly, in 1590, as the sisters were chanting Te Deum 
in choir, she felt that she was released from her den of 
lions; and when Mattins were over, she rushed to the 
prioress, radiant with joy, exclaiming, "Rejoice with me, 
my mother, the storm is passed." In her last sickness, 
her confessor urged her to pray foe some alleviations of 
her sufferings. " Let the will of God be done," was her 

She died on May 15, in the year 1607, aged 41 years. 
She was buried in the Church of her Order in Florence. 
She generally appears in art represented with a ring on 
her finger, because she is said once in vision to have seen 
the Saviour, who placed the ring on her finger, betrothing 
her to His service. 

May 25.] S. Quudratus. 383 

May 26. 

S. ALPKiBus, Father of SS, MatthfUf and James, at Capernaum, xst 

S. Carpus, B. tkf Beraea, xst eent, 
S. QuADRATus, B. of Athens, eirc, a.d. 130. 
SS. Symmetrius and Comp., MM, at Rome, eirc, a.d. 159. 
S. Eleutheril'S, Pope <if Rome, a.d. xS^. 
SS. Priscus and Cottus, MM* at toussi'tur'Tonne, near Auxerre, 

yd cent. 
S. Augustine, B» of Canterbury, Ap. of the English, a.d. 6o^. 
S. Philip Neri, Founder tjthe Oratorians, at Rome, a.d. ij9j* 
B. Maria NNA of Jesus, K, commonly called the Lily of Quito, a$ 

Quito, in Peru, a.d. 1645. 


(about A.D. 130.) 

{Roman Martyrology. In the Greek Menaea, on Sept. 22nd, he is 
-venerated as a martyr ; but probably this is a mistake, QoadratQs, bishop 
•of Magnesia, and the menology of the Emperor Basil so styles him. There 
is no evidence that he was a martyr. Authority : — Eusebius, Hist. EccL, 
Jib. iii., c. 36, and iv., c. 3, 25. J 

fAINT QUADRATUS, disciple of the apostles, 
succeeded Publius ia the bishopric of Athens, 
about the year 125. He composed a defence 
of the Christian religion, or an "Apology/ 
xwhich he presented to the Emperor Hadrian, and this 
work induced the emperor to abate the persecution of the 
■Church. S. Jerome speaks highly of this apology. 

Greek Menaea. Nothing known of him except his name as mentioned in the 

584 Lives of the Saints. [May a6w 



(a.d. 605.) 

[Roman and Anglican Martyrologies ; also Reformed Anglican Kalen- 
dar ; Bede, Hrabanus, Ado, Notker, &c. Authority :— Bede' s EccL 
Hist., the life of S. Augustine by Gotselin, d. Z098, contains no original' 

The account of the mission of S. Augustine to England,, 
and of his landing in Kent, and the establishment of the^ 
see of Canterbury has been already given in the Lives of 
S. Gregory the Great (March 12th), and S. Ethelbert (Feb.. 
24th), *and it need not be repeated in full here. 

The monastery of S. Andrew, on the Coelian hill, had 
been founded by S. Gregory the Great, while still a simple 
monk, at the time when he transformed his patrimonial 
mansion into a cloister. In the church of the monastery is 
still shown the pulpit from which Gregory preached, the 
altar before which he must often have prayed for the 
conversion of his beloved English. On the facade of the 
church an inscription records that thence set out the first 
apostles of the Anglo-Saxons, and preserves their names. 
Absolutely nothing is known of Augustine's history previous 
to the solemn days on which, in obedience to the com- 
mands of the pontiff, who had. been his abbot, he and his 
forty companions (in 396), went forth on their sacred* 
mission. He must, as prior of the monastery, have ex- 
hibited distinguished qualifications ere he could have been 
chosen by Gregory for such a mission. They arrived in 
Provence, and stopped for some time at Lerins, in that 
Mediterranean isle of the saints, where, a century and a . 
half before, Patrick, the monastic aposde of Ireland, had 
sojourned before he was sent on his evangelical mission by 
Pope Celestine. But there, the Roman monks received' 

Mayfl6.] S. Atcgusttfic of Canterdury. 385 

frightful accounts of the country which they were going to 
convert. They took fright, and persuaded Augustine to 
return to Rome and obtain from the pope permission to 
abandon their dangerous enterprise. Instead of listening 
to their request, Gregory sent Augustine back to them 
with a letter which ordered them to obey Augustine im- 
plicitly as their abbot, and to continue their journey forth- 
with. Thus stimulated, Augustine and his monks took 
courage, and again set out upon their way. They traversed 
France, and brought their journey to a close on the 
southern shore of Great Britain, at Ebbsfleet, near Sand- 
wich. It was there that Julius Caesar had landed with his 
legions. The new conquerors, like Julius Caesar, arrived 
under the ensigns of Rome — ^but of Rome the eternal, not 
the imperial. The rock which received the first print of 
the footsteps of Augustine was long preserved and vene- 
rated, and was the object of many pilgrimages. 

Immediately on his arrival, Augustine sent interpreters 
whom he had brought with him from France, to Ethelbcrt 
king of Kent The king appointed them to meet him in 
the Isle of Thanet. "The history of the Church," sajrs 
Bossuet, ''contains nothing finer than the entrance of the 
holy monk Augustine into the kingdom of Kent with forty 
of his companions, who preceded by the cross and the 
image of the great king, our Lord Jesus Christ, offered their 
solemn prayers for the conversion of England." At their 
head marched Augustine, whose lofty stature and patrician 
presence attracted every eye, for, like Saul, " he was higher 
than any of the people from his shoulders and upwards." 
The king received the missionaries graciously, and per- 
mitted them freely to preach Christianity among his 
subjects. He allowed them to follow him to Canterbvuy, 
where he assigned them a dwelling, which still exists under 
the name of the Stable Gate. 

VOL. V. 25 

386 Lives of tfie Saints. [Mayas. 

There was outside the town, to the east^ a small church 
dedicated to S. Martin, dating from the time of the 
Romans, whither Bertha, the Christian queen of Ethelbert, 
was in the habit of going to pray. Thither also went 
Augustine and his companions to chant their monastic 
office, to celebrate mass, to preach and to baptize. Here 
then we behold them, provided, thanks to the royal 
munificence, with the necessaries of life, endowed with the 
supreme blessing of liberty, and using that liberty in labour- 
ing to propagate the truth. The innocent simplicity of their 
lives, the heavenly sweetness of their doctrine, appeared to 
the Saxons arguments of invincible eloquence and every day 
the number of candidates for baptism increased. 

The good King Ethelbert did not lose sight of them, 
he sought and obtained baptism at the hand of Augustine. 
A crowd of Saxons followed his example. Augustine now 
perceived that he would be henceforward at the head of 
an important Christian community, and in conformity to 
his instructions, returned to France to be consecrated 
archbishop of the English by Virgilius, the celebrated 
metropolitan of Aries. On his return to Canterbury he 
found that the example of the king, and the labours of his 
companions had borne fruit beyond all expectation; so 
much so, that at Christmas in the same year, 597, more 
than ten thousand Anglo-Saxons presented themselves for 
baptism ; and that sacrament was administered to them in 
the Thames at the mouth of the Medway, opposite the Isle 
of Sheppey. 

The first of the converts was also the first of the 
benefactors of the infant Church. Ethelbert gave his 
palace in the town of Canterbury to Augustine to be 
converted into a monastery; and by its side Augustine 
laid the foundations of Christ Church, the metropolitan 
Church of England. To the west of the royal city, and 

May25.j S. Atcgtcstinc of Canterbury. ,38^ 

halfway to the church of S. Martin, Augustine discovered 
the site of an ancient British church which had been trans- 
formed into a pagan temple. Ethelbert gave up to him 
the temple, with the ground surrounding it. The arch- 
bishop forthwith restored it to its original use as a church, 
and dedicated it to S. Pancras. Round the new sanctuary 
he raised another monastery, of which Peter, one of his 
companions, was the first abbot He consecrated this new 
foundation to SS. Peter and Paul ; but it is under his own 
name that the famous abbey became one of the most 
opulent and revered sanctuaries of Christendom. Seven 
years were needed to complete the monastery, but some 
months before his death, Augustine had tha satisfaction 
of seeing his foundation sanctioned by the solemn charter 
of the king and the chief of the nation whom he had con- 
verted, 9th Jan., 605, 

Some time before the solemn consecration of his work, 
Augustine had sent to Rome two of his companions, 
Laurence who was to succeed him as archbishop, and 
Peter who was to be the first abbot of the new monastery 
of SS. Peter and Paul, to announce to the Pope the great 
and good news of the conversion of the king, with his 
kingdom of Kent, and to demand from him new assistants 
in the work. His appeal was promptly responded to, and 
Mellitus and Justus at the head of a new swarm of monks 
descended on Kent. The Pope sent to Augustine the 
pall as a reward for having established the new English 
Church, and constituted him metropolitan of twelve 
bishoprics, which he enjoined him to erect in southern 
England. He gave him authority to appoint whom he 
would metropolitan bishop at York, subordinating to the 
see of York twelve new bishoprics yet to be created, but 
securing to Augustine during his lifetime the primacy over 
the noi:thern metropolitan. 

388 Lives of the Saints. [May a6. 

The British Church, though secluded in the fastnesses of 
Wales to CornwaU, could not but hear of the arrival of the 
Roman missionaries, and of their success in the conversion 
of the Saxons. Augustine and his followers could not but 
inquire with deep interest concerning the relics of that 
ancient Christianity what had formerly embraced all Britain^ 
but which had been thrust back at the point of the Saxon 
spears into the mountain fastnesses of the West The 
British Church followed a different usage from Rome in 
the time of the celebration of Easter. It claimed, but 
erroneously. Eastern authority; the real cause of the 
divergence lay in erroneous computation. The Church of 
Alexandria had discovered an astronomical error, originat- 
ing in the employment of the ancient Jewish computation 
by the»Christians, and had introduced a more exact calcula- 
tion, which was adopted by all the Eastern Churches ; and 
the result was, that from the pontificate of S. Leo the 
Great (440-61) a difference of an entire month had arisen 
between Easter Day at Rome and Easter Day at Alex- 
andria. Towards the middle of the sixth century, the 
difference ceased. But Ireland and Britain had been 
converted before the correction of the calendar, and there- 
fore adhered to the old computation, which was at variance 
not only with Rome and the whole West, but also with the 
East, which celebrated that festival, like the Jews, on the 
precise day of the week on which it felL 

The zealous missionaries of Gregory did not know the 
origin of the error; all they saw was that error existed, and 
that the British Church adhered tenaciously to it. The 
Roman and British clergy met, it is said, in solemn synod, 
on the confines of Wessex, near the banks of the Severn, 
which separated the Saxons from the Britons. The inter* 
view, like that of Augustine with Ethelbert, after his 
landing in Kent, took place in the open air, and under 

May 36.] S. AugtcsHnc of Canterbury. 389 

an oak, which for a long time afterwards was known as 
Augustine's oak. The Romans demanded submission to 
their discipline, and the implicit adoption of the Western 
•ceremonial on the contested points.. The British bishops 
demurred ; Augustine proposed to place the issue of the 
dispute on the decision of a miracle. The miracle was 
duly performed, — a blind man brought forward and re- 
stored to sight But the miracle made no impression on 
the obdurate Britons. They demanded a second meeting, 
and at the advice of a hermit, resolved to put the Christi- 
anity of the strangers to a moral test. " True Christianity," 
they said, "is meek and lowly of heart. Such will be this 
man (Augustine), if he be a servant of God. If he be 
haughty and ungentle, he is not of God, and we may 
disregard his words. Let the Romans arrive first at the 
synod. If on our approach he rises from his seat to 
receive us with meekness and humility, he is the servant 
of Christ, and we will obey him. If he despises us, and 
remains seated, let us despise Aim." Augustine sat, more 
Romano^ says the historian,^ as they drew near, in un- 
bending dignity. The Britons at once refused obedience 
to his commands, and disclaimed him as their metro- 
politan. The indignant Augustine burst forth into stern 
denunciations of their guilt, in not having carried the light 
of the Gospel to their enemies. It was a charge that 
could then be made with justice, but it was one speedily 
and gloriously to be refuted by the conversion of Northum- 
bria and Mercia through missionaries of the Keltic Church. 
Augustine prophesied the divine vengeance by the hands 
of the Saxons. So complete was the alienation, so entirely 
did the Anglo-Saxon clergy espouse the fierce animosities 
of the Anglo-Saxons, and even embitter them by their 
theologic hatred, that the gentle Bede relates with triumph, 

* Hcniy oC Huntingdon. 

390 Lives of the Saints. [May 25. 

as a manifest proof of the divine wrath against the refrac- 
tory Britons, a great victory over that wicked race, pre- 
ceded by a massacre of 1200 of their clergy, chiefly monks 
of Bangor, who stood aloof on an eminencd, praying for 
the success of their countrymen. 

Condemned by the obstinacy of the British to deprive 
himself of their assistance, Augustine none the less 
continued his "hunt of men," as his biographer calls it, 
by evangelising the Saxons. In so doing he sometimes 
encountered an opposition which expressed itself in insult 
and derision, especially when he passed the bounds of 
Kthelbert's kingdom. On one occasion, whilst traversing 
Dorsetshire, he and his companions found themselves in 
the midst of a sea-faring population, who heaped on them 
affronts and outrages, hunted them from their territory, 
and with a rude derision fastened fish-tails to the black 
robes of the Italian monks.^ Augustine was not a man to 
be discouraged by such trifles. Besides, he found in other 
places crowds more attentive and more impressible. And 
thus he persevered for seven years, imtil his death, in his 
apostolic journeys. 

S. Gregory died in the early months of the year 605, 
and two months after, Augustine followed his father and 
friend to the tomb. The great apostle of the English was 
buried in the unfinished church of the famous monastery 
which was about to assume and to preserve his name. 

^ John Bale, the coarse reformer in Edward VI's time, says, "John Copgrave 
and Alexander of tsseby sayth, that for castynge of fyshe tayles at thys Angus- 
tyne, Dorsettshyre men had tayles ever after. But Polydorus applieth it unto 
Kentish men at Stroud, by Rochester, f^r cuttinge off Thomas Becket's horse's- 
tail. Thus hath England in all other land a perpetual infamy of tayles . . 
that an Englyshman now cannot travayle in another land by way of merchan*. 
dyse, or any other honest occupy inge, but it is most contumeliously thrown in his 
tethe that all Englyshmen have tayls." 

May 25.] S. Philip Neri. 391 

(A.D. 1595.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Canonissed by Gregory XV. in 1622. Authori- 
ties :— His life written by F. Antonio Galloni, one of his favourite disciples, 
in 1601 ; another l^y Hieronymus Barnabaeus, a contemporary ; another 
by Jacobus Bacci, pub. in 1645.] 

S. Philip of Neri, founder of the congregation of the 
oratory of Italy, was born at Florence, in 15 15, and from 
his childhood was so blameless in life, that he went 
familiarly by the name of " Good Philip." His father, who 
was a lawyer, gave him an excellent education, and sent 
him into the counting-house of his uncle at S. Germano, at 
the foot of Monte Cassino, but Philip felt that he had no 
vocation for a commercial life, and he left for Rom^, 
where he studied philosophy and canon law. In time he 
became so remarkable for his learning that he was con- 
sulted by those who had been his masters. But, resolving 
to devote himself only to the service of God and the 
salvation of souls, he sold his books, distributed the money 
to the poor, and spent his time in the hospitals, or in going 
among the worldly and irreligious, endeavouring to reclaim 
them. He saw that a society with this end in view was 
much needed, and in 1548 he formed fourteen compan ons 
into a congregation, attached to the church of S. Salvatore- 
del-Campo. Two years after he transferred it to the church 
of the Trinitk, and erected a hospital in connection with it, 
which still exists. At the age of thirty-six he was ordained 
priest, and after his ordination retired into the community 
of the Hieronymites. His sermons attracted crowds, and 
his discernment of hearts in the confessional made his 
ministrations to be in great request. He found it advan- 
tageous to hold conferences in his chamber on theological 
questions of the day, and these were attended by men, with 

392 Lives of the Saints. [May 35. 

■ ■ 

great fruit The advantage became so conspicuous that he 
united to him some of the priests and young ecclesiastics 
of great promise to continue his conferences, and these he 
extended to the people generally in the church of the 
Trlnit^ In 1564 some of his disciples, amongst them 
Baronius, afterwards the great ecclesiastical historian, were 
presented by him for ordination. He collected them into 
a congregation without vows, gave them rules, and ap- 
pointed them to carry on the special work he had under- 
taken, and which the exigencies of the day had called 
forth. This congregation was approved by Gregory XIII., 
in 1675, ^^^ g2,ve up to it the church of S. Maria de 

He died on May 26th, 1595, having received the 
Viaticum from the hands of Cardinal Frederick Borromeo, 
the same whose character has been so exquisitely drawn in 
the noble romance of the Prcmessi SposL 

(a.d. 1645.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Beatified in 1850 by Pius IX.] 

The blessed Marianna was born on Oct. 31st, 16 18, 
at Quito, in Peru, and was left an orphan at an early age. 
She devoted her life from an early age to mortification, 
and lived the life of a religious in a chamber of her own 
house. She was wont to sleep in a coffin, or on a cross, 
and on Fridays she hung for two hours on a cross attached 
to it by her hair and by ropes. Her fasting was excessive, 
and she loved on hot days to deny herself a drop of water 
to quench ^n almost intolerable thirst. In her last sick- 
ness she was bled, and the blood was thrown into the 

May 2$.] 

B. Marianna of yesus. 


garden. After her death a tall white lily grew up where 
her blood had been thrown. She died on May 26th, 1645, 
and her burial was attended by immense crowds. Many 
miracles were believed to have been performed at her tomb 
and by her intercession. 

She is usually called the " Lily of Quito-'* 

Lives of the Saints. tMay 9^^ 

May 27, 

S. Rkstituta, km, at Sora in Campania, circ, a.d. ays* 

S. Julius, M, at Dorostolum in Mysia, eire, a.d. 302. - 

S. buTROPii'8, B, tf Orange, cire. a.d. 48& 

S. John I., Pope, M, at Rome, a.d. $25. 

S. BiLi>EVSRT. B- at Manx, circ, a.d. 680. 

S. Beds the Venerable, Mk, ofjarroiv in Northumberland, a.d. 734, 

B. Frederick, B, of Liege, a.d. zz2i. 


(circ. A.D. 302.) 

[Florus in his addition to Bede, Usuardus, Ado, Noiker, &c. Roman 
Martyrology. Authority :^The authentic Acts.J 

E have already given the account of the martyr- 
dom of Fasicrates and Valentio, soldiers in the 
Roman army, at Dorostolum, in the persecution 
of Diocletian. Julius was a veteran in the 
same regiment, and was called to suffer in ^e same cause 
two days after his companions. As he went to execution, 
Hesychius, a Christian soldier, who was also a prisoner, and 
suffered martyrdom a few days later, said "Go with courage^ 
and run to win the crown the Lord hath promised ; and 
remember me, who am shortly to follow thee. Commend 
me to the servants of God, Fasicrates and Valentio, who 
are gone before us." Julius embracing him said, "Dear 
brother, make haste to join us; they whom you have 
saluted have already heard thy commission." Julius bound 
his eyes with a handkerchief, and presenting his neck to 
the executioner said, " Lord Jesus, for whose name I suffer 
deaths receive me into the number of Thy saints.'' 

May2^] S. yohn I. 395 

(a.d. 526.) 

[Roman Martyrology, Ado, Notker, Hrabanus, &c. Authorities ;— 
The anonymous historian of the Caesars from Constantius Chlorus to 
Theodoric, published by Valesius, Anastatius Bibliothecarius, &c.] 

Theodoric the Goth, ia all the earlier part of his reign, 
showed a spirit of remarkable toleration. Though inherit- 
ing the Arian tenets of his Ostrogoth forefathers, he 
behaved to the Catholics with rigid impartiality. Towards 
the close of the Qothic monarchy the royal ambassadors to 
Belisarius defied their enemies to prove a case in which the 
Goths had persecuted the Catholics.^ Theodoric treated 
the pope, the bishops, and clergy, with grave respect, in 
the more distinguished he ever placed the highest confi- 
dence. He showed as much reverence, and even bounty, 
to the church of S. Peter, as though he had been a 
Catholic. Theodoric himself adhered firmly but calmly 
to his native Arianism; but, all the conversions seem to 
have been from the religion of the king ; even his mother 
became a Catholic, and some other distinguished persons 
of the Court embraced a different creed from their sovereign 
without forfeiting his favour. Theodoric was the protector 
of Church property, which he himself increased by Ifiurge 

But towards the close of his reign a change of policy 
was forced on by the imprudence of the Eastern Emperor 
Justin. In 523 Justin in a terrible edict commanded all 
Manichseans to leave the empire on pain of death ; other 
heretics were incapacitated for holding all civil and military 
office. The Arians, deprived of their churches and their 
rights as citizens, appealed to the Gothic king of Italy. It 
was precisely at this juncture that rumours of conspiracy 

1 Procop. de Bell, Gothic ii., c. 6. 

396 Lives of the Saints. [Maya?. 

reached his ear. Vague intelligence of a correspondence 
carried on by the heads of the Roman senate with the 
emperor of the East, arrived at Ravenna. Indignation, not 
without apprehension, at this sudden, and as it seemed 
simultaneous, movement of hostility, seized the soul of 
Theodoric The whole circumstances of his position 
demanded careful consideration. Nothing could be more 
unprovoked than the religious measures of Constantinople, 
as far as they menaced the West, and assailed those in the 
East who held the same faith as Theodoric His equity to 
his Catholic and Arian subjects was unimpeachable; to 
the pope he had always shown respectful deference, he had 
taken no advantage of the contention for the pontificate 
by Symmachus and Laurentius to promote his own tenets. 
Even as late as this very year, he had bestowed on the church 
of S. Peter two magnificent chandeliers of solid silver. 

He at once arrested Albinus, the chief of the Roman 
senate, on the charge of holding treasonable correspondence 
with Constantinople. Severianus Boethius, the senator, 
was involved in the charge. This consummate master of 
all the hearts and sciences known at that period had been 
raised to the consulate, and had received high marks of his 
sovereign's esteem. His signature, forged as he declared, 
was shown at the foot of an address, inviting the emperor 
of the East to reconquer Italy. He was condemned to 
imprisonment, and was incarcerated at Calvenzano, a castle 
between Milan and Favia. 

In the meantime the religious affairs of the East became 
mor$ threatening^ to those who held the same religious 
creed with Theodoric The correspondence between the 
mo^archs had produced no effect, and Theodoric adopted 
the strange expedient of sending the pope to Constanti- 
nople to rempnsirale with the Eastern emperor, and 
obtain toleration for the Arians. To the pope's remon- 

May 27.J S. yohn /. 397 

strances and attempts to limit his mediatorial office to 
points less unsuited to his character, Theodoric angrily 
repli-d, by commanding the envoys instantly -to embark in 
the vessels which were ready for the voyage. 

John L, a Tuscan by birth, was then pope, he had suc- 
ceeded Hormisdas, in 5 23. Of his acts little is known before 
he was sent on this expedition, except that he repaired the 
catacombs of SS. Nereus and Achilles, of SS. Felix and 
Adauctus and of S. Pris cilia. 

S. Gregory the Great, in his dialogues, relates of his 
journey, how on the way he healed a blind man, and how 
he rode a horse which after it had borne the pope would 
never suffer a woman to mount his back. John was 
received in Constantinople with the most flattering honours. 
The whole city, with the emperor at its head, came forth to 
meet him with tapers, as far as the tenth milestone from 
the gates. The emperor knelt at his feet to receive his 
apostolic benediction. On Easter Day he said mass in the 
great church, Epiphanius the bishop ceding the first place 
to the more holy stranger. But of the course and success 
of his negotiations all is utterly confused and contradictory. 
By one account, now abandoned as a later forgery, he 
boldly confirmed the emperor in the rejection of all con- 
cessions. By another, he was so far faithfiil to his mission, 
as to obtain Mberty of worship, and the restitution of their 
churches to the Arians. All that is certainly known is, that 
John the pope, on his return, was received as a traitor by 
Theodoric, thrown into prison, and there the highest eccle- 
siastic of the West languished for nearly a year and died. 

Even before his return, Boethius had been sacrificed to 
the suspicions and fears of Theodoric. 

In prison Boethius wrote his great book, ^'The Consola- 
tion of Philosophy," which appears as the last work of 
Roman letters, rather than as eminent among Christian 

398 Lives of the Saints. [May 27. 

writings. It is equally surprising that in such an age and 
by such a nan, in his imprisonment and under the terrors 
of approaching death, consolation should have been sought 
in philosophy rather than in religion ; and that he should 
have sought his example of Patience in Socrates rather than 
in Christ. From the beginning of the book to the end, 
there is nothing distinctively Christian ; its religion is no 
higher t' an Theism, almost the whole might have been 
written by Cicero in exile. This accomplished man was 
put to death with pec-iliar barbarity, and his name has 
found its way into some martyrologies, which commemo- 
rate S. Severianus Boethius on October 23rd. On that day- 
he is venerated in the church of S. Peter at Pavia, bu^ as 
a modern hagiographer remarks, " Before giving the 
biography of Boethius among those of the saints, I wait till 
history has determined that he was a Christian." ^ 


(A.D. 734.) 

[Bede died on May 26th, but his festival has been transferred to May 
27th, because of the former day being the festival of S. Augustine, the 
apostle of England. Salisbury Kalendar, Reformed Anglican Kalendar. 
Some copies of Usuardus, Wyon, Menardus, the Anglican Kalendar of 
Wilson, Roman Martyrology. The loth of May is noted in some 
Kalendars as the day of his deposition at Durham. Authorities : — His 
life by Turgot, prior of Durham, d. 1115, in his History of Durham. But 
the only accurate information relating to the life of Bede is given by Bede 
himself, at ihe end of his Ecclesiastical History. To this must be added 
Cuthbert's accotmt of his last moments. Notices more or less detailed 
.are found in William of Malmesbury, and other historians.] 

Beds was born in 672 or 673;^ near the place where 
Benedict Biscop (January 12th), soon afterwards founded 

' Dom. Gucrin, Vies des Saints, T.V., p. ^14. 
* The Ecclesiastical History was finished in 731, and at the end of it Bede 
.states^ himself to he at that time 59 years of age. 

May 27.] 61 Bede ike Veneradle, .399 

the religious house of Wearmouth, perhaps in the parish of 
Monkton, which appears to have been one of the earliest 
endowments of the -monastery. As soon as he had reached 
his seventh year, Bede was sent to Wearmouth, and then 
to Jarrow, to profit by the teaching of Biscop, from which 
period to his death he continued to be an inmate of the 
latter monastery. After the death of Benedict Biscop, 
Bede pursued his studies under his successor Ceol- 
frid, and at the age of nineteen, about a.d. 692, was 
admitted to deacon's orders by S. John of Beverley 
then newly restored to his see of Hexham; and in his 
thirtieth year he was ordained to the priesthood by the 
same prelate. The early age at which Bede received 
holy orders, shows that he was then already distinguishing 
himself by his learning and piety ; and there can be little 
doubt that his fame was widely spread before the com- 
mencement of the eighth century. At that period, accord- 
ing to the account which has been generally received, 
Bede was invited to Rome by Pope Sergius I., to advise 
with that pontiff on some difficult points of churcK disci- 
pline. The authority for this circumstance is a letter of 
the pope to Ceolfrid, expressing his wish to see Bede at 
Rome, which has been inserted by William of Malmesbury 
in his History of England. It seems, however, nearly 
certain that Bede did not go to Rome on this occasion ; 
and reasons have been stated for supposing the whole 
jstory, as far as Bede was concerned in it, to be a mis- 
representation. If Bede was invited, we may suppose 
that the death of the pope the same year in which the 
letter was sent, released him from the labours of the 

The remainder of Bede's life appears to have passed ia 
Ihe tranquility of study. He clung through life to the 
dear retreat that was his home, and within its peaceful 

40O Lives of the Saints. [May ay. 

walls composed his numerous books. But occasionally he 
went forth to other religious houses for brief visits. ' In 
733 he spent some days in the monastery of York in 
company with his friend, Archbishop Egbert; but he 
declined another invitation from the same prelate, towards 
the close of 734, on the plea of ill health, in a letter still 
preserved. Bede was at this time labouring under an 
asthmatic complaint, which shortly afterwards carried him 
from the scene of his mortal labours. 

It is evident from various passages of his works that his 
days and nights were divided between the studies and 
researches which he pursued to his last hour, and the 
instructions he gave to the six hundred monks of Wear- 
mouth and Jarrow. An existence more completely 
occupied it would be difficult to imagine. Except during 
the course of his last illness, he had no assistant in his 
work. " I am my own secretary," he said, " I dictate, I 
compose, I copy all myself." 

His greatest work, that most precious to Englishmen, is 
unquestionably his Ecclesiastical History of England, our 
chief, almost our only authority for the early history of 
Christianity in our island. He was urged to undertake 
this by Albinus, abbot of S. Augustine's, Canterbury. 
Albinus furnished him with memoranda of all that had 
happened in Kent and the neighbouring counties in the 
time of the missionaries sent by S. Gregory ; he even sent 
a priest to Rome, to search the archives of the Roman 
Church, with the permission of Gregory II., for the letters 
of his predecessors and other documents relative to the 
mission to England. All the bishops of England 2\&k> 
assisted in the work by transmitting to the author what 
information they could collect concerning the origin of the 
faith in their dioceses. The abbots of the most important 
monasteries also furnished their contingent 

May 27.] kS". Bede the Venerable. 401 


This pleasant and glorious life was not, however, without 
a cloud. He excited the criticism of narrow spirits ; they 
even went so far as to treat him as a heretic, because he 
had in his Chronology combated the general opinion that 
the world would last only six thousand years. He grew 
pale with surprise and horror, as he says to one of his 
friends, in an apologetic letter, which he charges his 
correspondent to read to Wilfred, bishop of York, who 
seems to have given a certain encouragement to the slander 
by suffering it to pass in his hearing unrebuked. 

If, however, he had some enemies, he had more friends. 
Among these, in the first rank, it is pleasant to find the 
Keltic monks of Lindisfame. Bede asks that his name 
should be inscribed on the roll of monks in the monastery 
founded by S. Aidan. He especially desired this favour in 
order that his soul after death might have a share in the 
masses and prayers of that numerous community, as if he 
had been one of themselves. 

The details of ^ his last sickness and death have been 
revealed to us in minute detail by an eye-witness, the 
monk Cuthbert. "Nearly a fortnight before Easter (17th 
April, 734) he was seized by ^ extreme weakness, in con-' 
sequence of his difficulty of breathing, but without great 
pain. He continued thus till the Ascension (26th May), 
always joyous and happy, giving thanks to God day and 
night, and even every hour of the night and day. He gave 
us our lessons daily, and employed the rest of his time in 
chanting psalms, and passed every night, afler a short 
sleep, in joy and thanksgiving, but without closing his eyes. 
From the moment of awaking he resumed his prayers and 
praises to God, with his arms outstretched as a cross. O 
happy man ! He sang sometimes texts from S. Paul and 
other scriptures, sometimes lines in our own language, for 
he was very able in English poetry, to this eflfect : — None 

VOL. V. 26 

402 Lives of tlie Saints. tMaya7. 

is wiser than him needeth, ere his departure, than to ponder 
ere the soul flits, what good, what evil it hath wrought; 
and how after death it will be judged. 

<* He also sang antiphons according to our ritual and his 
own, one of which is, *0 glorious King, Lord of all power, 
who, triumphing this day, didst ascend up above the 
heavens, leave us not orphans ; but send down on us from 
the Father the Spirit of Truth which Thou hast promised. 
Hallelujah/ And when he came to the words, * leave us 
not orphans,' he burst into tears, and continued weeping. 
But an hour after he rallied himself and began to repeat 
the antiphon he had begun. By turn we read, and by 
turns we wept — ^nay, we wept whilst we read. In such joy 
we passed the days of Lent, till the aforesaid day. He 
often repeated, ' The Lord scourgeth every son whom He 
receiveth,' and much more out of Scripture ; as also this 
sentence from S. Ambrose, * I have not lived so as to be 
ashamed to live among you, nor do I fear to die, for our 
God is gracious.* During these days he laboured to com- 
pose two works, besides his giving us our lessons, and 
singing psalms. He was engaged on translating the Gospel 
of S. John into the vulgar tongue, for the benefit of the 
Church, and had got as far as the words, 'But what are 
these among so many' (S. John vL 9) ; and he was also 
making some notes out of the book of Bishop Isidore ; for 
he said, *I will not have my pupils read what is untrue, 
nor labour on what is profitless after my death.' On the 
Tuesday before the Ascension, his breath became much 
affected, and his feet swelled ; but he passed all that day 
cheerfully, and continued his dictation, sa)dng, *Be quick 
with your writing, for I shall not hold out much longer.'^ 
So he spent the night, awake, giving thanks, and when 
morning broke, that is Wednesday, he ordered us to write 
with all speed what he had begun ; and there was one of 

May 37.] 61 Bede the Venerable. 403 

us who said to him, ' Most dear master, there is still one 
chapter wanting ; will it trouble you if I ask a few ques- 
tions?' for the rest of us had gone to make the Rogation 
procession. He answered, * It is no trouble. Take your 
pen, and writ6 fast' And when it came to the ninth hour 
he said to me, 'There are some articles of value in my 
chest, as peppercorns, napkins, and incense; run quickly, 
and bring the priests of the monastery to me, that I may 
distribute among them the gifts which God has bestowed 
on me/ And when they were come he spoke to each of 
them in turn, and entreated them to pray and offer the 
Holy Sacrifice for his soul, which they all readily promised, 
but they were all weeping, for he said * Ye shall see my 
face again no more in this life. It is time for me to return 
to Him who formed me out of nothing. The time of my 
dissolution is at hand; I desire to be dissolved and to be 
■with Christ.' 

"Now when even came on, the boy above-mentioned 
said, * Dear master, there is yet one sentence not written.' 
He answered, * Then write it quickly now.' Soon after the 
boy said, *It is finished. The sentence is now written.' 
He replied, * It was well said, it is finished. Raise my old 
head in your arms, that I may look once more at the 
happy, holy place, where I was wont to pray, that sitting 
up in my bed, I may call on my Father.' And thus on 
the pavement of his little cell, singing ' Glory be to the 
Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,' he breathed 
his last, as he uttered the name of the Holy Ghost, and so 
departed to the heavenly kingdom. All who were present 
thought they had never seen any one die with so much 
devotion, and in so peaceful a state of mind." 

The monastic sanctuary towards which the dying look of 
Bede was turned still remains in part, if we may believe 
the best archaeologists, in the recently-restored parish 

404 Lives of tfie Saints. [May ay. 


church of Jarrow, which has been carefully renovated in 

honour of England's first great historian, every relic of the 

ancient building as old as Bede being carefully preserved- 

An old oak chair is still shown, which the saint is pretended 

to have used. Like all the other saints of the period, 

without exception, he was canonized by popular veneration, 

tacitly approved by the Church. Many pilgrims came to 

Jarrow to visit his tomb. His relics were stolen in the 

nth century, and carried to Durham, where they were 

'placed with those of S. Cuthbert. They were an object of 

'veneration to the faithful up to the general profanation 

* under Henry VIII., who pulled down the shrine and threw 

the bones on a dung-hill along with those of all the other 

holy apostles and martyrs of Northumbria. 

Towards the 9th century Bede received the appellation 
of the Venerable, which has ever since been attached to his 
name. As a specimen of the fables by which his biography 
was gradually obscured, we may cite the legends invented 
to account for the origin of this latter title. According to 
one, the Anglo-Saxon scholars were on a visit to Rome, and 
there saw a gate of iron, on which were inscribed the letters 
P.E.P., S.S.S., R.R.R., F.F.F., which no one was able to 
interpret. Whilst Bede was attentively considering the 
inscription, a Roman who was passing by said to him 
rudely, "What seest thou there, English ox?" to which 
Bede replied, " I see your confusion," and he immediately 
explained the character thus : — Pater Patriae Perditus, 
Sapientia Secum Sublata, Ruet Regnum Romse, Ferro 
Flamma Fame.^ The Romans were astonished at the 
acuteness of their English visitor, and decreed that the 
title of Venerable should be thenceforth given to him, 

^ "The father of his country lost, \visdoin carried away with him, the realm of 
Rome will fall by swo^d, by flame, by famine." The story is evidently altered 
and adapted from that of Virgii, acd the famous lines, "Sic vos non vobis 
mcllifkatis apes, &c/* 


Mayt;.] 6*. Frederick. 405 

According to another story, Bede, having become blind in 
his old age, was walking abroad with one of his disciples 
for a guide, when they arrived at an open place, where 
there was a large heap of stones, and Bede's companion 
persuaded his master to preach to the people who, as he 
pretended, were assembled to hear him. Bede delivered a 
moving discourse, and when he uttered the concluding 
words, "per ssecula sseculorum," to the great admiration of 
his disciple, the stones immediately cried out **Amen, 
Venerable Bede 1" There is also a third legend on this 
subject, which informs us that, soon after Bede's death, 
one of his disciples was appointed to compose an epitaph 
in Latin leonines, and carve it on his monument, and he 
began thus — 

Hac jacent in fossa Bedae ossa, 

intending to introduce the word safidi or presbyteri; but as 
neither of these words would suit the metre, he left it 
blank and fell asleep. On awaking he found that an angel 
had completed the line, and that it stood thus — 

Hac jacent in fossa Bedx Venerabilis ossa. 



(a.d. 1 121.) 

[Venerated as a saint in the diocese of Li^ge. Greven in his additions 
to Usuardus. Roman Martyrology with additions of Belgian saints, 
published at Li^ge in 1624. Authority :— Renier, monk of S. Laurence, at 
Li<5ge, a contemporary, the Codex Alnenis quoted by Chapeauville,] 

The contest on the subject of investitures that had 
broken out between Pope Gregory VII. and the Emperor 
Henry IV., was continued after the decease of both with 
unflagging energy. On the death of Obert, the fifty-fifth 
bishop of Li^ge, Alexander, canon and treasurer of S. 


4o6 Lives of the Saints, [May 27^ 

Lamberi's, the cathedral church, at the instigation oF 
Godfrey, count of Louvain, bought his presentation to the- 
vacant see from the Emperor Henry V. Henry invested 
Alexander with the cross and ring, and sent him to Liege. 
But the dean, Frederick, assembled the chapter and 
clergy, and refused to receive him. The archbishop of 
Cologne at the same time sent them word on no account 
to recognize the authority of Alexander, and to proceed 
canonically to elect a new bishop. An assembly was held 
at Lidge, but opinions were divided, some were for accept- 
ing Alexander, backed up with the powerful support of 
the count of Louvain, others were for electing Frederick^ 
the dean. As the election could not be proceeded with at 
Li^ge, the chapter retired to Cologne, where they elected 

In 1 1 19, Calixtus IL excommunicated the Emperor 
Henry V. As soon as Frederick was consecrated, he 
returned to Li^ge, walking thither barefoot. In the mean 
time the rival bishop, Alexander, occupied the castle of 
Huy, higher up the Meuse. Frederick, supported by his 
brother, the countof Namur, marched against his rival, and 
began the siege of the castle. But the count of Louvain? 
speedily arrived to its relief, and a battle ensued. Night 
put an end to the bloodshed, and in the disorder that 
reigned, Alexander fled the castle, and coming to Fred- 
erick, submitted to his discretion. 

The count of Louvain, enraged at the failure of his 
schemes, is said to have resolved on the destruction of the 
bishop by poison, and to have suborned a servant ta 
administer the dose. But the contemporary historian,. 
Renier, says nothing of this, and it is probably a later 
invention. Certainly the symptoms of death described by 
the Codex Alnensis are not those of poison. 

May 28.] S. Helicoitis. 407 

May 28. 

S. Heliconis, M. at Corinth, a.d. 244. 

SS. Emilius, Felix, Lucian, and Others, MM, in Sardinia* 

S. Caraunus, Af. at Chartre?, 5M cent, 

SS. Monks, MM. at Thecua, in Palestine, eirc, a.d. 410. 

S. Theodulus the Stylite, H. at Edessa, eirc, a.d. 4^0. 

S. Manvaus, B, of Bayeux, eirc, a.d. 480. 

S. Justus, B. of Urgel, in Spain, eirc, a.d. ^^o. 

S. Germain, B. of Paris, a.d. 576. 

S. William, burnt at fottloiue, Mk, of Fal Geloru 

B. LanfranC, Jrchh. of Canterbury, a.d. zoSg.' 

B. GizuRj B, of Skdlholt, in Iceland, a.d- xii8. 

(a.d. 244.) 

[Menology of the Emperor Basil, and Greek Menaea. Inserted in the 
modern Roman Martyrology by Baronius. Also Maronite Kalendar. 
Authority :— The Greek Acts, pretending to be written by an eye-witness, 
but they are a forgery.] 

[.HIS woman is said to have been martyred 
under the emperors Gordian and Philip, who 
issued an edict against the Christians, when 
they were consuls together. And during the 
persecution consequent on the promulgation of this edict, 
Heliconis suffered at Corinth. But as Gordian and Philip 
never were consuls together, and as neither issued any 
such edict, so is the persecution more than questionable. 
Heliconis may have suffered in some local uprising of the 
people, or under some feigned charge by a hostile governor, 
but the fact of the acts being manifestly a forgery, throws 
the greatest doubt over everythitig connected with her 
martyrdom, and indeed of her existence. 

^ Given by the BoUandists, bat as there is no evidence of his having received 
public veneration, and he appears in no other Martyrologies, his life is not included 
in this collectiun. 

4o8 Lives of the Saints. [May as. 


(5TH CENT.) 

[Modern, Roman, and Gallican Martyrologies. Usuardus and Mau- 
rolycus. The Acts or Life is a Mediaeval composition, of very uncertain 
authority ; as it is unknown on what evidence it was composed.] 

S. Caraunus, or, as he is commonly called, S. Chkrotiy 
was a Roman hy birth. He owed his conversion to the 
Epistles of S. Paul, which fell by chance into his hands. 
And when he had read them he said, " This wisdom is not 
of this world," and he sought further instruction, and was 
baptized. On the death of his parents, he entered holy 
orders ; but it is not stated that he ever proceeded beyond 
the diaconate. Under the reign of Domitian he left Rome 
and came into Gaul. He visited Marseilles and Lyons, 
and finally arrived at Chartres, where he confirmed in the 
faith those who had been converted by SS. Potentianus 
and Altinus. He was on his way to Paris with some 
companions when his party was attacked by robbers. At 
his advice his companions took to flight and secreted 
themselves. The robbers finding no money on the person 
of Caraunus, smote off his head. Towards evening his 
companions quitted their hiding places, and taking up his 
body, buried it on a hill hard by, called at this day 
Montagne-Sainte. He is generally represented with his 
head in his hands. His relics are still shown at S. Charon, 
near Chartres, 

May 28.] S. Theodulus the Sty lite. 409 



(about A.D. 410.) 

[Greek Menaga. Authority : — His life in Greek, not by a contemporary, 
but sufficiently correct in dates and details to leave no doubt of its being 

In the reign of Theodosius the Great there was at 
Constantinople a prefect of the city, named Theodulus, a 
good man who feared God with all his house. Now he 
read how Solomon tried all manner of things to satisfy the 
longing of his heart, and found all to be vanity and vexa- 
tion of spirit ; and he felt that his own heart spoke the 
same language. Then he yearned with an unspeakable 
longing to live to God alone. So he told his desire to 
Procula, his wife, to whom he had been married only two 
years. But when she heard him, she uttered a cry of 
grief. " What, man ! have I not been to thee faithful in 
every way ? Have I not been to thee modest and un- 
selfish? And now wilt thou divorce me? Never did the 
apostle utter such a command, as that thou shouldst desert 
thy true wife for ever !" But he burst from her and went 
forth, and resigned his office into the hands of the emperor; 
and returned to her. Then she fell at his feet weeping, 
and held him fast and implored him not to leave her, and 
she said, " Beware ! should evil befall me, thou wilt have 
to answer for my soul at the judgment bar of God." Then 
rising, "Come I" said she, "let us be as monk and nun in 
this house, dressing in mean apparel, and sleeping in 
different chambers, and faring on poor thin diet I was not 
born and bred to this, but I will endure this all rather than 
lose thee !" Then the brave true woman tore off her costly 
robes, and threw away her necklaces, and went weeping to 
her room and shut the door. And her heart broke, and 
next morning she was found dead, with tears on her cheek. 

4IO Lives of the Saints. cMayaa^ 

Then Theodulus left Constantinople, and arrived at 
Edessa, where he found a pillar, and he ascended that 
pillar, and fasted and prayed, and watched thereon, winter 
and summer, night and day for forty and eight years. 

" In hungers and thirsts, fevers and cold, 
In coughs, aches, stitches, ulcerous throes and cramps, 
A-sign betwixt the meadow and the cloud. 
Patient on this tall pillar I have borne 
Rain, wind, frost, heat, hail, damp, and sleet, and snow." 

And at last, when the forty and eight years were over, 
Theodulus thought that he must be nigh perfection. Had 
he not given up house and land, and wife for the sake of 
Christ ? surely his would be the palm and crown. Then 
he prayed that God would reveal ta him, who would be his 
equal in heavenly glory. So the Lord appeared to him in 
a dream, and answered, and said, " Cornelius the clown." 
Then the old hermit was aghast, and his soul melted away, 
and he was as one dead with shame and dismay. And 
when he was come to himself, he called for a ladder, and 
he came stumbling down the steps, and caught up a stick, 
and went, grey, ragged, and dazed into Edessa, asking at 
every step, "Where is Cornelius the clown?" And so, 
after awhile he came on the merry fellow, capering with 
double pipes in his mouth, and a hideous mask, bef jre a 
laughing crowd. Then the old hermit plucked him by the 
sleeve, and drew him away, and said, wild with dismay, 
**\\Tiat good thing hast thou done to inherit eternal life? 
I have given up houses and land and a dear wife, I 
have spent forty-eight years on a pillar, exposed to the 
glaring sun by day, and to the numbing frost at night. I 
worn out my body with fasting. I have eaten but a 
crust and a raw olive in the day. What hast thou done ? 
I have become stiff in my joints, my feet are sore and 
swollen with long standing, I have prayed night and day. 

Mayas.] S. Tlicodulus t/ic Stylitc. 411 

some hundred prayers by day, and I have watched by 
riglit as the stars wheeled above me. What hast thoa 
done ?" 

"I have done nothing," answered the clown, humbly. 
" I cannot compare with thee." 

*'But thou nast done something," said Theodulus, 
r -ughly shaking him ; " I know that thou wilt be accounted 
great in heaven, tell me what hast thou done ? " 

" I am vile as dirt. I have not even served God purely 
and honestly," said the clown. 

*' Bethink thee," again urged the hermit ; " what good 
t'.ing hast thou done ? " 

Thai the clown reddening said, "There is one little 
fling I did, but it is not worth ment'oning. Some time 
ago there was a virtuous young wife in this town who had 
be.n married only two years, when her husband fell into 
difficulties, and was cast into the debtor's prison. And 
she, poor thing, was constraned to beg for food and 
money to keep him and herself alive. And she was very 
fair, and she feared lest she should attract rude eyes, and 
was withal as modest as a young maiden, and when she 
begged, she held out both her hands, and hung her face, 
and only murmured inarticulate words. And so I saw her 
one day. And I was grieved, fcr I had piped and danced 
in the court of her house for a few coppers not many 
months before. Then I went to her and asked her how 
much her husband owed, and she said *Four hundred 
pieces of silver.' Then I ran home, and turned out my 
money box, and found therein two hundred and thirty 
pieces. So then 1 1 jok a pair of gold bracelets and some 
brooches which had belonged to my dear dead wife, and 
they were worth seventy piec-s of silver. But that was 
not enough. So then I got together some of my silk 
theatrical dresses, and I rolled them all np in a piece of 

412 Lives, of the Saints. May 28. 

linen, and took it all to the woman, and I sai"d to her, 
'There, take all, and release your husband from jail/ 
Then I ran away. And this, I believe is the only good 
thing I have ever done." 

Then Theodulus saw how this man had sacrificed him- 
self for a strange woman, bound to him by no tie, whereas 
he had cast away his own wife, and had broken her heart, 
seeking only his own self. 

Then the old hermit smote his breast, and lifted his 
hands to heaven and blessed the poor clown, and thanked 
God, and went back to his pillar and re-ascended it, and 
there, not many years after, he died. 

(a.d. 576.) 

fRoraan and Gallican Martyrologies. Authority :— Life by VenantiuS 
fortunatus, a contemporary. J 

S. Germain was the child of Burgundian parents, 
named Eleutherius and Eusebia. His mother endeavoured 
to destroy her unborn child, but ineffectually, injuring. her 
own constitution without hurting him. His grandmother 
also bore the poor boy, aftci he was born, the same 
malice, and wishing his brother Stratidius to enjoy the 
whole of the parental inheritance, gave a servant a poisoned 
cup for Germain, and a cup of wine for Stratidius, telling 
her which cup was intended for each child, but the servant, 
not knowing that mischief was intended, carelessly changed 
the cups, and Stratidius, though he did not die of the 
effects, was severely injured by the poison. It was not safe 
for Germain to remain in his father's house, therefore his 
uncle Scopilio, at Lazy near Autun, took charge of him. He 

Ma\ 28.] B. Gizur. 413 

was a very pious man, and from him Germain derived his 
first rehgious impressions. 

German was educated in the abbey of S. Symphorian 
at Autun, and was created abbot of the monastery, by 
S. Nectarius, the bishop. He was ordained priest by S. 
Agrippinus of Autun. The fame of his virtue reaching the 
ears of King Childebert, he was ordered to come to Paris, 
where he became abbot of the monastery of S. Vincent, 
afterwards called after himself, S. Germain-des-Pr^s, Four 
years after, he was appointed to the episcopal throne of 
Paris, on the death of Eusebius, Childebert, at his request; 
built the church of S. Germain T Auxerrois on the further 
side of the Seine. The saint showed great courage in 
opposing the king and nobles for their violence and 
dissolute manners ; he even excommunicated king Caribert, 
who had repudiated his legitimate wife Ingoberda, that 
he might marry a woman named Marcovesa, at the same 
time that he was living in concub'nage with her sister. 

S. Germain died on May 28th, in the year 576. His 
body was laid in the abbey of S. Vincent, but his relics 
were dispersed at the Revolution. 

(a.d. 1 1 18.) 

[Necrologium Islaadicum. Authorities : — ^The Kristni Saga, the Sa^as 
of S. John of Holum* The Hungurvaka and Thattr of Jsleif.] 

On the maps of Iceland, one is pretty sure to sc^e 
Skalholt marked as a town, and in some geography books 
it is set down as the capital of the island. Yet it consists of 
a farm and a church. The situation is beautiful, from a 
vast green swamp rises a verdant mound, swept on the 
south by a mighty river. Picturesque hills rise out of the 


414 Lives of the Saints. [May»j. 

plain, and far away, blue and silver in the distance rise 
the vast masses of Eyafialla and Hechla. Skalholt was the 
first episcopal seat in Iceland, it was given to the church 
by Gizur, the second bishop, and remained the seat of 
a bishop, the metropolitan of the island till the change of 

The first resident bishop in Iceland was Islief, son of 
Gizur the White, who had persuaded his countrymen to 
adopt Christianity. For the maintenance of the bishop 
the old temple-tax was awarded ; this was a rate levied in 
heathen times on the landowners, for the support of the 
ancient religion and its rites, and it became now the 
revenue of the bishop. But the sum was too small for the 
purpose, and it was of necessity that the head of the 
Icelandic Church should be a man of large private 

Of Isleif we are told : — " He was pinched in his house- 
keeping, in such demand was his money; the incomings 
were small, and the outgoings great, consequently his 
housekeeping was a matter of difficulty;''^ and again: — 
" When he returned to his bishop's seat he was at Skalholt, 
but because half of his land was the personal property of 
his wife, Dalla, it was difficult for him to manage, for at 
that time there was no tithe." * 

Isleif died on July sth, 1080 ; and his son Gizur was 
elected to the vacant bishopric. He accordingly sailed for 
Germany and went to Rome, where he was well received 
by Pope Gregory VIL, the famous Hildebrand, in 1012, 
and was sent by him to be ordained by Archbishop 
Hartwig of Magdeburg, one of the Saxon prelates who 
adhered to his cause, against the emperor. Gizur crossed 
the Alps, reached Magdeburg, and was consecrated bishop 
on September 4th, in the same year. He then returned to 

> Hungexvaka, c. s. • Isleifs Thattr. 

May 28] B, GlZtir. 4I5 

Iceland, which he reached in the spring of 1084, having 
spent the winter in Denmark. 

In Iceland he became extremely popular. It was some 
time before he could take possession of Skalholt, as it was 
the property of his mother, Dalla, but on her death he gave 
the farm to the Church, and thenceforward it became the 
seat of.the bishop. He then built a cathedral church of 
wood, and dedicated it to S. Peter. We are also told that 
Bishop Gizur gave the church at Skalholt the white 
vestment with purple ornaments, which since has been 
used as the best"^ 

The condition of the Church was greatly improved by 
the introduction of the tithe, which was imposed on all the 
land in 1097, during the episcopate of Gizur. The 
^* Hungurvaka" says : — 

" These men were coeval with Bishop Gizur, the priest 
Saemund of Oddi, who was so able a man, and better 
educated than most, and Marcus Skeg^jason, the law- 
giver, who was the wisest man and greatest poet of his 
time. These men took counsel together, and brought 
other chiefs into conference with them, and decided to 
introduce a law that the people should value and tithe 
vtheir property half-yearly, as is the custom in other Chris- 
tian lands. They, by their recommendation and urgency, 
persuaded the people to submit to the tithe, and the 
money so obtained was thus portioned : — One share went 
to the bishop, one to the church fabrics, one to the main- 
tenance of the clergy, and the fourth to the poor, and no 
such support to the well-being of the see was after obtained 
as this introduction of tithe, which was brought about 
through Bishop Gizur's care, and which was granted 
because he was so much beloved." — Hungurvaka^ c. 6. 

After Gizur had been bishop more than twenty years, he 

* Hungurvaka, c. j. 

41 6 Lives of the Saints. [May 2a.. 


resolved to divide his immense diocese, and he appointed 
John Ogmundson to be bishop of the northern half 
of the island. The southern half he reserved for the 
diocese of Skalholt In the year 11 17 he fell ill, being 
then aged seventy-five years. He was afflicted with ulcers 
over his whole body, which gave him great pain, and 
prevented him from sleeping. His wife^ asked him what 
he would like his friends to ask of God for him. " Not 
that my pains may be loosened," he answered ; " for I am 
ready to bear the chastisements of the Lord." When 
asked if he would like to be buried beside his father^ 
Bishop Islei^ he answered, " No, I am not worthy." All 
his sons died before their father except one ; and he left a 
daughter behind him. He was buried beside Isleif. He 
was forty years, old when he was made bishop, and he 
ruled the see thirty-two years. His death was lameuted 
throughout Iceland. 

1 The bishops and clergy of Iceland were married till the 13 th century. 

May 29.] vS*. Conon arid his Son. 417 

May 29. 

S. Conon and his Sont, AfM. at Iconium, a.d. 27^, 

S. Restitutus, M. at Rome, 

S. Maximinus, B. of Treves, a.d. 3^9. 

S. Maxim us, B, of Ferona, ^th cent, 

S. BuRiAN, r. in Cornivall. 

SS. SisiNNius, Martyrius and Alexander, MM, at Trentf a.d, 397. 

S. Mary of Antioch, r. in Syria, 

S. Theooosia, F.M. at Constantinople, ad. 726. 

S. Bona, F., 0.M,C, at Pisa, a.d. 1207. 

S. Andrew of Chios, M, at Constantinople, a.d. 146^. 


(a.d. 275.) 

[Roman Martyrology, Ado, and Usuardus. Authority : — The ancient 
Greek Acts, The main portion almost certainly genuine, but the first 
part interpolafed. The examination before the governor has all the 
character of authentic acts.] 

ON ON was an old Christian deacon at Iconium 
in Isauria, when Aurelian was emperor. He 
was brought before the Count Domitian. The 
following was the interrogation : — Doipitian the 
count said : — " Why do you not adore the gods ? What is 
the impediment? Are you a priest or a deacon?" Conon 
answered : — " I adore the living God. I am a layman.'* 
Domitian r — *' Have you a wife?'' Conon: — "She died 
some while ago, and now she is with Christ" Domitian 
said : — " I will search out your life. Have you had 
children ?" Conon answered : — " I have a son." Domi- 
tian : — " Is he impious to the gods also ?" Conon ; — " As is 
the root, so are the branches." Domitian : — " Let the 
son be brought hither." An officer: — "He is here." 
Domitian asked:— "How old is the boy?" Conon re- 
voL. V. 27 

41 8 Lives 'of the Saints. iMayap. 

plied : — " He is twelve years old, and can read fluendy." 
Domitian said : — " Now decide. Will you believe in the 
Gods and offer sacrifice ?'' " No," said Conon, " do your 
pleasure with us." Domitian exclaimed : — " Set red-hot 
irons on their flesh." "As you will," said Conon, "you 
shall see the virtue of Christ made manifest." So hot 
irons were placed on both father and son. Then Domitian 
said, "Throw oil on theml" and they did so. Then 
Conon cried, " Did I not say, do wi:h us as you will ?'' 
"Turn them over on their bellies," said Domitian; "burn 
their backs." "Think not lo make us yield -with fire,'' 
said Conon. Then Domitian, very angry, ordered them to 
be placed on iron grates over a charcoal fire. And whilst 
the grates wfere heating, Domitian bade their hands be 
crushed wi.h iron hammers. Then Conon said, "Art 
thou not ashamed to be coSquered by two servants of 
God ?" And so Conon and his son died, and the brethren 
came and buried their holy bodies. 


(A.D. 397.) 

[Modern Roman Martyrology. Usuardos, Ado, Notker. Authority :— 
Two letters from S. Vigilius, Bishop of Trent at the time ; one to John, 
patriarch of Constantinople, the other to S. Simplicianns, Bishop of 
Milan, giving an account of their martyrdom. They are also mentioned 
by S. Augustine, S. Gaudentius, and by Paulinus the priest, in his life of 
S. Ambrose: There is not the smallest doubt as to the perfect authen- 
ticity of the account.] 

From the village of Tajo, in the Ronsthal, in Tyrol, a 
steep and tedious path along the left bank of the Roce 
leads to the village church of Sanzeno, where lie the bones 
of Sisinnius, Martyrius, and Alexander, who here suffered 

May 29.] ^'nS'. Sisinnius & Comp. 419 

martyrdom when they came, sent by S. Vigilius of Trent, 
to bear the torch of truth into the mountain fastnesses of 
Tyrol, then buried in the darkness of paganism. 

These three men were natives of Cappadocia, who 
came to Milan, where they placed themselves at the 
disposal of S. Ambrose. After awhile S. Ambrose sent 
them to his friend, S. Vigilius of Trent, who ordained 
Sisinnius deacon, Martyrius lector, and his brother Alex- 
ander he ordained ostiarius; and then bade them bear 
the Gospel to the pagan mountaineers. Sisinnius em- 
ployed an alpins lure, or long wooden horn, wherewith to 
call the shepherds together to hear the word of truth. But 
the pagans, angry at his interference with their celebration 
of a heathen festival, beat him about the head with his 
lure, and then killed him with the axes wherewith they 
felled the pines. Martyrius was hiding in a rosebush, 
when a girl saw him 'and betrayed him. The rude moun- 
taineers at once dragged him from his place of conceal- 
ment, drove their Alpen-stocks, "hardened in the fire, into 
his flesh, and beat him till he died. Alexander's feet 
were tied with a rope, and then, fastening a bell round the 
neck of Sisinnius, they drew all three to where they were 
performing their idolatrous rites. Alexander was so torn 
by the brambles, and bruised by the stones over which he 
was dragged, that he died on the way. The mountaineers 
then made a large pile of fir boughs, laid the three bodies 
on it, and set fire to the heap. 

; ' 

420 Lives of the Saints. [May 29. 

(a.d. 727.) 

[Greek Menaea. Authority :— An enconium by Constantius Acropolita, 
Magnus Logotheta (fl. 1294), and the account in the Mencea. which is. 
far more trustworthy, and differs materially in details from the bombastic 
sTory of Constantius.] 

S. Theodosia was a nun among the crowd of women 
who witnessed the destruction of the great image of the 
Redeemer, by the soldiers of the Emperor Leo the 
Isaurlan, as already described elsewhere. The women 
shook the ladders placed against the gate, over which was 
the figure, and precipitated from them the men engaged 
on the sacrilegious work. Soldiers were sent to drive off" 
the crowd, and a considerable number of women were- 
butchered. Theodosia, with others, was driven at the 
point of their spears into the shambles, where one of the 
soldiers, flourishing a ram's horn, struck her with the point 
on her throat, and tore her windpipe. She died of the 

May 30. S. Ferdinand. 421 

May 30. 

SS. Gab IN us and Crispulus, MM, at Torres in Sardinia, ^nd cent. 

S. Felix I., M., Pope nf Rome, a.d. 374. 

SS. Basil and Emmelia, the parents nf S- Basil the Great andS, 

Gregory Nyssen, at Neoeasarea, in Cappadocia, 4th cent, 
S. ExypBRANTiGS, B, of Rovenna, a.d. 4x8. 
S. Anastasius, B, of Pavia, a.d. 680. 
S. Ferdinard III., K. of Castille and Leon, at Seulls, a.d. Z2p. 

(a.d. 1252.) 

[Roman and Spanish Martyrologies. Authorities : — A life by Roderick 
Xiraenes, Archbishop of Toledo, a contemporary (d. 1247) in his Spanish 
tllhronicle. Another life by Lucas of Tuy, a contemporary. I 

|0 WARDS the end of May, 1217, whilst the 
minor Enrique I., King of Castille, was playing 
in the court-yard of the episcopal palace at 
Palencia, he was killed by a falling tile. His 
sister Berengaria, who had been married to Alfonso IX. 
of Leon, from whom she had been reluctantly divorced 
through the influence of Pope Innocent III., on the score 
of consanguinity, was now, by the laws of Castille, heiress 
to the crown. She was proclaimed queen by the nobles, 
who swore allegiance to her at Valladolid. Immediately 
afterwards, a stage was erected at the entrance of the city, 
and there, on August 31st, 12 17, nearly three months after 
the death of Enrique, the queen, in presence of her barons, 
prelates and people, solemnly resigned the sovereignty into 
the hands of her son, Ferdinand, son of Alfonso IX. of Leon, 
who was immediately proclaimed king of Castille. 

But Ferdinand III. was not yet in peaceable possession 
of the crown. He had to reduce the towns which he held for 
Don Alvaro, who had acted as regent during the minority 

422 Lives of the Saints. [Maya^. 

of Enrique, and what was worse, to withstand his father, the 
king of Leon, who now invaded the kingdom. Aided by 
the party of that resdess traitor^ Alvaro, Alfonso aspired to- 
the sovereignty. He marched to Burgos, which had just 
acknowledged his son, and in opposition to the entreaties 
of the clergy, laid waste the domains of that son's 
adherents. The Castilian nobles were not slow in com-^ 
bining for the defence of their king; they hastened to 
Burgos in such numbers, and were animated by such a 
spirit that Alfonso, despairing of success, desisted from his 
enterprise, and returned home. 

Don Alvaro had already been made prisoner by a party 
of the royal forces ; but released on surrendering the forti- 
fied places which he held. Of this ill-judged clemency, 
Ferdinand had soon reason to repent, if the statements of 
a contemporary authority are to be relied on ; that Alvaro 
again appeared in arms, and prevailed on the king of Leon 
again to disturb the tranquillity of Castille. It is, however, 
certain that no actual hostilities broke out a second time 
between the father and the son, and Alvaro died in dis- 
grace and poverty in 12 19. A complete reconciliation 
having been effected, the kings of Leon and Castille com- 
bined to drive .the Moslem, a common foe, out of fair 
Spain. The crusade was published by the Archbishop, 
Rodrigo Ximenes, and the same indulgences granted to 
those who assumed the cross in Spain as to those who 
visited the Holy Land. A multitude from all parts of the 
peninsula assembled at Toledo, burning to redress the 
wrongs of Christendom upon the Mohammedan, and drive 
the infidel into Afi-ica, before the Cross of Christ. The 
result, however, by no means corresponded with the an- 
ticipations of the kings, and ended in desultory warfare, 
irruptions into the territories of the Moors, firom Aragon^ 
Castille, Leon, and Portugal. Ferdinand headed none of 

May 30. 6*. Feratftand. 423 

them; he was detained at home, exterminating more for- 
midable bands of free-booters, who ravaged his own 

It was not until 1225 that the career of conquest com- 
menced, which ended in the annihilation of the African 
power, and of all the petty kingdoms which had risen on 
its ruins. In that and the two following years, Murcia was 
invaded^ the Alhambra was taken, and Jaen besieged by 
Ferdinand. Valencia was invaded by King Jayme of 
Aragon, Badajos was taken by Alfonso, and Elvas by the 
King of Portugal. S. Ferdinand set his soldiers llic 
example of a chivalrous honour and Christian piety. Be- 
fore each battle he spent the night in prayer. An image 
of the Blessed Virgin was borne before his army, and lie 
wore a representation of her slung round his neck, or erect 
on the pommel of his saddle. He was before Jaen, which 
his armies had invested two whole years, when intelligence 
reached him of his father's death (in 1230) after a success* 
ful irruption into Estremadura. The inestimable advantage 
which this event was calculated to produce for Christian 
Spain — the consolidation of two kingdoms often liostile to 
each other — ^was near being lost. In his last will Alfonso 
named his two daughters — ^for the kingdom had long ceased 
to be elective — ^joint heiresses of his state. Fortunately 
for Spain the Leonese took a sounder view of the interests 
than Alfonso ; Leon, Astorga, Oviedo, Lugo, Mondonedo, 
Salamanca, Ciudad-Rodrigo, and Coria declared for Ferdi- 
nand. Nobles, clergy, and people were too numerous in 
fayour of the King of Castille to leave the princesses the 
remotest chance. No sooner did Ferdinand hear how 
powerful a party supported his just pretensions, than he 
hastened from Andalusia into Leon. As he advanced^ 
accompanied by his mother Berengaria, to whose wisdom 
he was indebted for most of his successes, every city threw 

424 Lives of the Saints. [Mays©. 

open its gates to welcome him. He entered the capital in 
triumph, and received the homage of the clergy and people 
in the cathedral. 

He at once set out for Galicia, where the infantas with 
their mother Theresa had formed a party. Berengaria, 
Ferdinand's mother, begged an interview with Theresa. 
The latter yielded to the justice or power of her rival; in 
consideration of an annual pension secured to her two 
daughters, she renounced, in their name, all right to the 
crown of Leon, and the fortified places which held for the 
infantas were consequently surrendered into the hands of 
the king. 

Ferdinand III., now lord of Spain from the Bay of 
Biscay to the vicinity of the Guadalquivir, and from the 
confines of Portugal to those of Aragon and Valencia, put 
into execution his long meditated schemes of conquest. 
In 1234 he laid siege to Ubeda, and captured it. In the 
meantime his son Alfonso, with fifteen hundred men, had 
defeated at Xeres the formidable army of the Moorish king 
of Seville, divided into seven bodies, each more numerous 
than the Christian army. It was then that — ^if we may 
give credence to the legend — S. James was seen on a white 
horse, gleaming before the Christian host, flashing a light- 
ning blade, and bearing the banner of victory. This won- 
drous victory cost the Christian army but one knight and 
ten soldiers. 

The joy of these victories was allayed by the death of 
Beatrice, the virtuous \dfe of Ferdinand. She was the 
daughter of Philip of Swabia, emperor of Germany, and 
Ferdinand had married her in 12 19, when he was twenty 
years old. The union had been a very happy one, and 
had been blessed with seven sons and three daughters. 
The same year, 1236, James, king of Aragon, wrested 
rom the Moors the kingdom of Majorca and that of 

May 30] 6*. Ferdinand. 425 

Valencia, and Ferdinand completed the conquest of llic 
Moorish kingdoms of Baezo and Cordova. He entered 
Cordova on the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, in 1236. The 
great Mosque was purified and converted into a cathedral, 
and the great bells of Compostella, which Ahnansor had 
caused to be brought thither on the backs of Christians, S. 
Ferdinand commanded to be carried back oh the backs of 

One after another, the minor kingdoms of the Moors in 
Spain yielded to his victorious sword, or submitted volun- 
tarily to pay tribute. 

The siege of Seville lasted sixteen months, for it was the 
largest and strongest city in Spain. Its double walls were 
very strong, and were defended at intervals by sixty-six 
towers. The city surrendered on the 23rd of November, 
1249, and all the Moors were banished from it. Three 
hundred thousand removed to Xeres, one hundred thou- 
sand passed ovei^into Africa. 

Ferdinand was seized with dropsy at the beginning of 
1252, at Seville, and prepared for his approaching end by 
extraordinary acts of austere devotion. His last advice to 
his son and successor Alfonso, was an inculcation of the 
eternal obligations of justice and mercy. Having caused 
the ensigns of majesty to be removed from his presence, 
he bade a tender farewell to his family and friends, and, 
fortified by the sacraments of the Church for his last great 
journey, breathed his last. May 30th, 1252, amidst the 
lamentations of all Seville. 

The following account of a visit to his relics at Seville 
by the late unfortunate Emperor Maximilian will not be 
read without interest : — " The wall behind the altar in the 
cathedral is ornamented with pictures, and here hung a 
large red curtain covering the tomb of my patron, the holy 
Ferdinand. I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that this bold 

426 Lives of the Saints: [May3<v 

king was buried here, in Seville ; therefore it made a great 
impression on me, when the servant told me on a sudden 
that here rest the remains of him. after whom I was 
christened, from whom I have, the good luck to descend, 
and who, by the Church, has been appointed my chief 
advocate at the throne of God. The coffin with the red 
cloth stands in the middle ; to the right and left are high, 
niches, in each of which stands, under a velvet canopy, a 
coffin ornamented with golden cover, crown and sceptre. 
Here repose two children of Ferdinand the Saint — Al^ 
phonso the Wise, and his sister. It was strange to see 
these coffins standing out^ as if they had been exhibited ta 
the eyes of the people only yesterday, and yet showing^ 
traces of great age. The saint and his children are united 
in that house of God which they wrested from the Moors, 
and selected for themselves as a place of rest. The tombs 
are full of dignity and sanctity, not like those monuments 
of a sensual mythological kind, without sign of faith or 
devotion, such as the proud Medici have erected for them- 
selves. Here one stands by the graves of a holy family, 
in which simplicity and grandeur humble themselves be. 
neath the sign of the cross. On the railing that separates 
the chapel from the church is represented the holy king on 
horseback, and before him the Moorish prince kneeling^ 
and presenting the keys of the dty to the conqueror/'^ 

> ** Recollections of My Life." Vol. i., p. 179. 

May 31.) S. PetroftUla. 427 

May 31. 

S. Petronilla, y, at Rome, xtt cent, 

S. Crescentfan, M. at Torre, in Sardinia, 2nd cent, 

S. Hermias, M. at Comano, in Cappadocia, cire. A.D. x66, 

SS. Cantius, Cantian, and Cantianilla, and Protus, AfAf. at 

jiquileia, a.d. 390. 
S. LupiciNus, B, etf Ferona, 6th cent, 
i^, Angela or Merici, F-, Foundress of the Ursalines, at Brescia, 



(iST CENT.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Usuardus, Ado, Notker. Authority :— ^Mention 
in the Acts of SS. Nereus and Achilles (May 12th.) But these, as has 
b2en already pointed out, are quite untrustworthy.] 

[AINT PETRONILLA is said to have been a 
daughter of S. Peter the apostle. He took her 
with him to Rome, where she became para- 
lysed; but Simon Magus having asked him 
why, if he could perform miracles, he allowed his daughter 
to remain infirm, S. Peter answered that "It was expedient 
for her." Then he added, "Nevertheless, to show the 
power of God, she shall rise from. her bed and walk.'* 
Then he called her, and she rose, and was restored to her 
full health. 

A certain officer or "Count" Flaccus having greatly 
admired her beauty, sent soldiers to her, to ask her to be 
his wife. She replied sharply, " If he wants me to marry 
him, let him not send rough soldiers to woo me, but 
respectable matrons, and give me time to make up my 
niind." Whereupon the soldiers withdrew abashed. But 
before Flaccus had obtained matrons to convey his offer, 
Petronilla was dead. 

4^8 Lives of the Saints. [May 31. 

* — 

At Rome is a catacomb named after her, a church, and 
an altar in the -Vatican, which enshrines her body. Accord- 
ing to some, S. Petronilla was only the spiritual child of 
S. Peter. 


(giro. A.D. 166.) 

[Roman Martyrology, inserted by Baronius from the Greek Menology. 
But he has fallen into several mistakes. Hermias was martyr at Comana, 
in Cappadocia, not at the place of the same name in Pontus, as the 
Roman Martyrology asserts ; Baronius was also mistaken in the fact§. 
Authority : — The Greek Acts, a late, and not very trustworthy com- 

S. Hermias was a soldier who suffered in the reign of 
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, at Comana, in Cappadocia, 
His jaws were broken with a stone, and his sides, after 
having been torn, were irritated by the application of 
vinegar. His head was finally struck off 


(about A.D. 290.) 

[Roman and Gallican Martyrologies. Martyrology of S, Jerome, AdO/ 
Notker, Usuardus, Hra^anus. Authority: — The Acts attributed, but 
erroneously, to S. Ambrose. They are probably by S. Maximus of 

The Emperor Cams died when on his march against 
the Persians. His death was attended with ambiguous 
circumstances. He was said to have been struck with 
lightning in his tent He was succeeded (284) by his 
sons, Carinus and Numerian ; Carinus, a sensual despot, 
soft but cruel, devoted to pleasure, but destitute of taste ; 
and though exquisitely susceptible of vanity, indifferent to 
public esteem. Numerian was cast in a different mould. 

May 31] *S\ CautZUS & CoPlpS. 429 

He was virtuous and accomplished, but his constitution 
was delicate, and he sank into an early grave. Carinus 
lost his life by the hand of a tribune, whose Avife he had 
dishonoured, and the upstart Diocletian assumed the 
imperial purple. But there lived two youths, Cantius and 
Cantianus, and their sister, Cantiana, or Cantianilla, 
of the blue Anician blood, grandsons, or grand-nephews 
of the Emperor Carus. Their tutor, a Christian named 
Protus, saw that they could not with safety remain in 
Rome, and he fled with them to Aquileia. Into their 
young hearts he had succeeded in instilling the divine 
lessons of, the Gospel, and the young princes had in all 
probability been baptized. At Aquileia, Dulcitius and 
Sisinnius were governors. They sent word to then surper 
Diocletian of the presence of the youths and their sister in 
Aquileia, and they insinuated that, being Christians, this 
charge would cover their condemnation. Order for their 
arrest speedily followed ; they were to be arrested and 
tried on the charge of being Christians. But in the mean- 
time, the guardian, Protus, had heard of the message to 
Diocletian, and he hurried the children from the city. 
Diocletian ordered them to be pursued, and put to deativ 
wherever they were taken. An accident to the litter in 
which the children were being conveyed away, delayed 
them on the road, and the soldiers overtaking them, the 
three children and their guardian were promptly executed. 
The place of the martjnrdom was at Aquge Gradatre, since 
called San-Cantiano. The bodies of the martyrs were 
buried by a priest, and they remained for seven hundred 
years at Aquileia, till they were obtained by King Robert 
the Good of France for the church of Etampes, which he 
had just erected. In 1793, the revolutionary mob broke 
the reliquary, and scattered the bones, but some portions 
were preserved by the faithful, and are to this day objects 

430 Lives of the Saints. [May 31. 

of veneration. Every year at Etampes, on May 31st, a 
procession of the " Corps saints " takes place, to which 
great numbers of children are brought by their mothers. 

(a.d. 1540.) 

[Roman Martyrology. Beatified by Pius IV;, and canonized by Pius 
VII. Authority : — Life by Ottavio FlorentincJ 

Angela was the youngest daughter of a worthy couple 
who lived at Desenzano, near Brescia, in Lombardy. She 
was born in 1474, and was left an orphan with an elder 
sister, when she was ten years old. The two sisters were 
taken home by an uncle. In his house her sister died 
suddenly, without receiving the last sacraments. This 
distressed the little Angela, and she prayed that sl;ie might 
be told the condition of her sister. A few days after, her 
uncle finding the child greatly depressed, sent her into the 
country. On her ways he saw a luminous haze, and on 
nearing it, saw the form of her sister. She was satisfied by 
this vision that her sister wa:s in . bliss. On the death of 
her vmcle she returned to her paternal house, and seeing 
that the great need of her day was instruction for the 
young girls, she collected children to her, and taught them. 
Others joined her, and she became the founder of the 
Ursulines, whose special mission is the education of girls. 
Under Angela, the society was without vows or peculiar 
-dress, all which it assumed after her death, which took 
place on the night of the 2 7-2 8th of January, 1540. Her 
l)ody was buried in the church of S. Afra, at Brescia. 

END OF VOL. V. , * j^ ly